These are also my concerns. Here in Germany many towns and cities haven't got enough money in order to remove the street damages of last winter. How should they then ever finance the needed car-to-x infrastructure?
"The car must emulate the behavior of the individual driver"
This is actually to be avoided in the self driven cars. The majority of accidents happen because of this individual behavior of the drivers especially when the action of a driver mismatches with the reaction of the other driver ( coming opposite, tailing, or in the adjoining lane)
If the self driven cars decide themselves how to drive in a given situation ( traffic jam, sudden braking by the car in front, road block, slippery road, snow etc) then actions and reactions of the two cars adjacent or opposite to each other will match and the accidents could be avoided.
You aren't alone in being skeptical about the premise of self-driving car.
The success of driverless cars, in my opinion, actually depends on a critical decisioneach carmaker makes -- in terms of how they design a car that can interfere with a driver's freedom. Hence this discussion of "personalizaion."
As I wrote before, it has less to do with engineerig problems, but much to do with if auto engineering can understand human psychology.
>> "Why shouldn't my car speak with an Italian accent?
The problem with many technologies is that public infrastructure will limit the progress or the speed of innovation. If you live in Pittsburgh with all the potholes, you will know that govt will be unable to provide the ecosystem to enable some of these ideas to flourish. And this is American-wide.
It seems to me that a self-driving car would be next to useless, if the best it can do is emulate the driving style of each user. The main purpose for self-driving is to improve the efficiency of the roadways, and to do so with more safety than you would expect out of mere human drivers.
For example, there are plenty of drivers out there who become catatonic at red lights. They waste valuable seconds waking up to the fact the the traffic light turned green. This sort of waste creates traffic congestion (because fewer cars get through the intersection during that cycle), and requires wider and more roads to be built. Ideally, with self-driving cars, this sort of inefficiency would be eliminated, to make existing roads more capable of handling increasing demands. Ditto with freeway driving. Human reaction times require huge spacing between cars, at typical freeway speeds. A real waste of road capacity.
My thinking is, instead, that self-driving cars will be tailgating each other, at speeds way beyond what a human could manage safely. And jamming through intersections with way much tighter tolerances than mere humans can master.
I think that internal sensors in the car will be used to check the health of all critical systems, and that any sign of impending critical problem will automatically shuttle the car off to an emergency lane. Less urgent matters will create a warning for the driver, to take care of whatever problem soon. Of course, the latter is already true today, so no big vision there. There will also be road sensors, of course, to warn of obstacles or other road conditions, to adjust the flow of traffic.