That’s a bit far-fetched, don’t you think?
I mean, it is entirely possible for public and personal transport to fuse into some sort of system in which the public car fulfils your personal transport needs.
But the thing with public things that people tend to forget is that there is ownership. You own it, just as much as everyone else that contributes to it.
I.e. if you see someone destroying public property, he/she is also destroying YOUR property. And it’s also in your responsability to protect your public property, that YOU own as a taxpayer (and which comes with a right to access).
In terms of efficiency in urban areas, yeah, a transport system like Next or Toyota’s autonomous pods thing could be a definite improvement.
There is no question that the adoption of such systems is indeed given a lot of thought.
But it’s not going to replace inter-urban automobile transit for a while. Rural municipalities just aren’t dense enough to make it worthwhile (and probably never will be, considering the ever-increasing urbanisation of the world).
Part of the whole point of autonomous vehicles is prevention. Prevention of the sort of errors that would put you in court, or in a hospital bed, or both; or worse. Assinging blame after an accident is thouroughly pointless, except for preventing it from happening to other people in the future. Theoretically, almost all accidents can be prevented, and there is no particular reason why that would be inherently impossible. In the mean time, we can minimize accidents which otherwise cannot yet be prevented.
Seriously, even the fictional “car that is programmed to kill you in X situation”, would still be immensely safer for you than driving using your own human senses. In pretty much all situations which could involve an AV “sacrificing the driver”, the driver would already have had a significant chance of injury and/or death.
People who kill themselves at the wheel while trying to evade something in their path are a rather common occurence.
At least when that fictional AV does it, it’s for a reason, and has a guaranteed survival for the other parties involved. With human drivers, sometimes everyone involved dies. It turns out that humans are pretty bad at saving their own lives when driving.
And this gets even muckier if we bring other forms of transport into the mix. Airplanes emergency flight paths are already programmed to prioritize the lives of people on the ground over the lives of people on board.