One of the most obvious benefits of fully autonomous vehicles is the amount of time that will be saved and otherwise diverted that was previously spent driving. It is estimated that in the U.S., over 87.5% of people over 16 years of age report that they drive. Of those people, it is estimated that they spend over 17,600 minutes a year driving. That number is very similar to the amount that people drive in the rest of the world:
Americans drive nearly 2.45 trillion miles per year, With nearly an hour a day spent driving, it is clear that the time saved will be put to an entirely new use. Now it is difficult to completely access what time will be spent doing what, but I believe that it will be split up into 3 main categories. The first (and the least noteworthy) is entertainment.
Movies, live sports, and other entertainment will likely have its place in autonomous vehicles. It will appeal to a younger audience, as well as those who are trying to relax. However, this is the smallest of the markets.
It is likely that a lot of this time will be used productively (the most obvious choice). The amount of time could lead to 507 billion dollars annually, according to a Morgan Stanley study, stimulating the economy by up to 5.6 trillion dollars. This work will result in shorter days, with more time being spent doing other things.
The market that I am most excited about is that which will result from industries transforming to work in autonomous vehicles. Hair cuts for example, are a great example of a service that could easily be performed in an autonomous vehicle. There could be certain fast food/quick food options where you can eat while being taken to where you want to go. I believe that certain industries will shift from stores that require customers to drop in to being in autonomous vehicles. This will result in more and more of our lives taking place in autonomous vehicles. It is not out of the question that entire industries shift over to be in autonomous vehicles due to convenience for the customer. There is a chance that people actually spend time in vehicles simply for the service provided.
Another interesting component is how much time will be saved in certain situations by not needing to drive. Parents who need to drive their kids around to extracurricular activities can now send cars to do that job. Jobs requiring delivery (for example, food) will now no longer need a car. In fact, there is already implementation in San Fransisco of an automated delivery system. Industries all around us will have a drastically different feel to them, and it will be exciting to see just how much changes.