Strangely . . .
. . . not everyone has the same usage patterns as you. I have not owned a car in close to five years, and big part of what facilitates that is car sharing and, to a lesser extent, car rental. Don't know what car sharing is? Check out www.zipcar.com or www.citycarshare.com. Renting is not cheaper than owning if you drive every single day, but I take public transport 90% of the time, so the $75/month or so that I spend on driving is less than the price of gas alone probably would be. Let's break it down:
Cost of car: $20,000 + taxes and fees (yes, yes, you can plenty of cars for cheaper; you can also pay more; this is a nice, round figure, so STFU if you don't like it)
Cost of insurance: $1200/year
Cost of gas: $100/month
License fees: $120/year
Maintenance (oil changes, etc.): $40/quarter (probably more, but I'm being generous)
Cost of accident: deductible ($500) plus inconvenience and cost of car rental
Parking: $200/month + tickets
The cost of a new car will pay for a *lot* of car sharing/rental fees, and with car sharing, I know exactly how much I have to pay in advance. Admittedly, that model doesn't work for everyone, but it's great for urbanites who don't want to deal with the hassle and expense of owning a car. There are a lot of us, and our numbers are growing, thanks to car sharing firms. An automated car sharing arrangement would be fantastic, because it would reduce or eliminate one of the biggest issues with car sharing right now, which is that you're compelled to pick the car up, drive it somewhere, most likely leave it parked for several hours, and then drive it back, paying for the idle time in the middle. Automated car sharing could reduce the need for and thus the expense of that idle time, in turn reducing the need for individual car ownership.