I personally think it's going to be a long time before we see self driving cars take over entirely. They might be ready now, but they must have millions of legal and liable hurdles to overcome, they are litterly going to have to rewrite the rule books and change so many laws too. It's going to be almost impossible. There might be an initial take up, some older people would benefit greatly from such a service, but most people enjoy driving, it's not a chore but a joy and a privilege. If you're not enjoying your daily drive to work, then you either need to get a more fun car or a better job.
Well I just watched a fascinating BBC documentary about the diesel engine, not sure if you guys can get the UK iplayer over there, but it's worth a watch. It starts with Rudolf Diesels suicide, his first diesel engine in 1913 that ran on peanut oil, and wiped out steam powered engines, war subs and thier contribution in the wars, Nazi propaganda, locomotives, the first passenger diesel cars in the 1930's and the huge container ships too.
Some facts I found mind boggling, 94% of global trade relies on diesel engined vehicles.
A mid sized container ship can do 55,000 miles on a full tank, the one in the documentary had an 18,000 litre engine stretched over 3 floors, with 75,000 bhp, 3 turbos and could carry 8500 containers (some can carry double this!) and travel fast enough to water ski behind.