Autonomous automobiles are looking a lot like other IoT investments - lots of players, overlapping technologies, an unknown consumer adoption curve, and commodification that will require massive scale for adequate returns.  Now add a complex regulatory environment that can reshape all of those variables.

So who will make money?    

The real rewards will likely come to those companies where the driver - the focus of autonomous vehicles - is a key factor to their business model:

First, services companies which can replace the cost of human workers, like trucking, delivery services, tour services, security, and shared vehicles (taxi services, mass transit).

Second, companies that will engage idle passengers, like communications networks, in-vehicle infotainment, content producers, and advertising - think contextual pop ups during your road trip.

Third, all the infrastructure companies that will enable passengers to travel cheaply and safely by rebuilding roads, installing charging stations, allowing remote parking, and so on.