When people think about self-driving technology, it’s usually thought of as only a good thing. No one really ever thinks about any potential downsides of it. However, this article in The Atlantic highlights some major issues, such as the possibility of free sponsored transportation. This would be like many free apps on devices today, which are free because they make money on ads. For example, there would be a self-driving car that might take you somewhere for free, but only if you stopped at a sponsored location or two along the way. These locations might be chosen using your own personal data, similar to how websites use your search history to determine the ads they show you.
The technology could also have a major shift on the routes people drive. For example, scenic routes would be priced higher. It might cost more to drive through wealthy neighborhoods than poor ones, and some might even be off-limits. This is completely opposite of today, where it is generally accepted that you have the right to drive on any public roads, no matter where they are.