I won't underestimate the possobility that one day we will have autonomous cars, if civilization lasts that long. I have underestimated what technology can do too many times before.
What I dread is the transition period during which people are suppose to still be at the wheel to handle odd situations. Are you kidding me? We already have a problem with inattentive drivers who are suppose to be in complete and sole control of their vehicles. Allow some autonomy, and no one will be paying any attention at all.
I have manual transmission cars (Honda Prelude andj S2000, both fine cars). It is a pain in the bcakside in the normal stop-and-go traffic we have here, but with one hand on the wheel, one on the stick, one foot on the clutch, and the other working the gas and brakes, you have no option but to be ONLY driving. No cellphone, internet, ebook, whatever. Sometimes I think we would do better if we reduced the automation in cars. Ban automatic transmission (yes, I know, that would never happen, but I think the roads might actually be safer).
I would rather they keep autonomous cars off the road until they are 100% autonomous.