Uber is making a big investment because drivers are their biggest cost. Uber board member Steve Jurvetson recently commented that if Tesla developed an autonomous vehicle, Uber would buy half a million of them in 2020.
95% of drivers want self-drive cars because they like idea of doing something else on commute or shopping run or kid delivery to school - being able to do something productive, or just relax instead of wasting time controlling car is a huge plus in almost every driving situation.
Cars (most notably from Google and Tesla) can already handle routine driving and maintain a safe speed. We won’t be handing over the steering wheel this year, but we will begin the prep work: talking about regulations, figuring out the best ways to apply the technology, and testing how humans interact with these vehicles.