On one hand, it could work for some people and wouldn’t cause any large-scale issues if uptake wasn’t too great. However, the more this aspect of autonomous vehicles is hyped, the greater the risk they increase sprawl by making commuting more comfortable — a negative outcome, as far as I’m concerned.
And who would use this service? Would it really be a cost-effective competitor to long-distance bus lines? It seems unlikely, so business travellers or wealthy people would likely be the target; but why would they spend all night in a vehicle when they have the money for the flight?
Even more worrying, would making these distances more comfortable reduce the pressure for high-speed rail? The United States is already far behind parts of Europe and Asia
in adopting rapid trains, and relying even more on automobiles (even driverless ones) will keep the transit system quite inefficient. That’s worrying because transportation is responsible for a huge percentage of US emissions (see the article listed near the end of the issue for more on that).