The first thing you’d notice is the space. Today, cars spend 95% of their time parked, doing nothing. If those cars were employees, you’d fire them. But self-driving cars can be put to work. At the very least, they could park themselves in underground or multi-story lots away from busy downtown, where space is scarce.
Now take a deep breath. The air will be cleaner. One recent study claims a 94 percent reduction in emissions if all taxis were self-driving and electric. Multiply that by all the cars on the road and city air could be as fresh as country air, and probably better-smelling.