Every major car company already has autonomous driving technology under development. Licenses for driverless cars have already been issued. Google autonomous vehicles have already demonstrated hundreds of thousands of miles of driving without any major accidents.
I agree that autonomous vehicle technology has progressed at an astounding rate. However, I feel that major technological, policy, and consumer barriers mean that commercial availability of the technology in the next 8 years is unlikely.
Terms: By Memorial Day 2024, one must be able to pick someone up at a Las Vegas strip hotel and take them to a destination off-strip in downtown Las Vegas. If this is possible, Jeff wins. If it is not possible, Stephen wins.
There are a few key clauses: (a) the vehicle must be FULLY autonomous and never require human control other than to enter a pickup and destination address. Specifically, the passenger could be blindfolded or otherwise incapacitated at the time of pickup and the vehicle must still be able to function, the occupants will not ever be required to take control. (b) the vehicle must be commercially available- no prototypes or restricted-access pilot projects. (c) the operational area of the vehicle must be broad enough to encompass both the Las Vegas strip (a chaotic and high-risk environment challenging for autonomous vehicles to navigate), and downtown Las Vegas (a more risk-averse and potentially hostile regulatory climate due to concerns of residents). In certain circumstances a remote pilot may be engaged, but the entire testing of the bet cannot be one of these exceptions.