Naturally, if driverless vehicles take hold of the world and replace in the not so distant future traditional models, allowing us to do anything else than drive, safely, that might mean lower insurance and other levies.
But before we get to the proverbial situation where there would be little to no accidents caused by human error we should be prepared for the state and local taxes to jump during the turnover period – apparently without reason. According to a report recently published by Brookings Institution’s Kevin C. Desouza and Kena Fedorschak, local governments will try to fill up their coffers before an expected drop in revenue owed to the disappearance of citations following traffic violations. The venerable Statistic Brain Research Institute says US drivers pay a whopping $6 billion per year in speeding levies alone. And in terms of revenue, there others who deliver a higher yield – for example drunk drivers. And most likely places such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, California and Texas – the five states with the highest amount of moving violations – would suffer the brunt of the fallout once these misdemeanors disappear.
More so, autonomous cars are expected to deliver better fuel economy than their human counterparts (there are numerous motivations here, including a “lighter foot” and traffic patterns assessment) which coupled with the ever more efficient vehicles mandated by the government will result in lower revenues from the gas tax. And since numerous studies point out to the time when autonomous cars will also negatively impact sales – because they would be intensely shared – there would also be a loss of revenue from dwindling registration and licensing fees.