The AutoBART has only become possible because of the recent improvements in self driving technology. Hardware costs less and the software is more capable because of investments made by major car companies.
In the last 10-15 years, self-driving technology has improved exponentially. In 2004 DARPA held its first autonomous driving competition where college teams competed in a race across the desert. In 2008, Google started their developing a self driving car. Now today, every major car company has an autonomous car program and the leading companies are logging millions of self driven miles per year.
Costs to build self driving cars are plummeting. The spinning laser used as the eyes for most autonomous cars cost $75,000 two years ago. This year it costs $500. Some companies are now building cars that use only cell phone cameras. As more money is invested and more cars are built, these costs will go down ever further.
CEO's of Ford and GM are even planning to transition their hundred year old business model from selling cars to charging per mile for transporting people because of the expected value of self driving cars. By building a system alongside this booming market will allow AutoBART to benefit from the advances in technology and low cost mass production.