Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO and all-round technology wünderkind, has predicted that a day may come when humans are banned from driving, simply because driverless cars are so much safer than we are.
"In the distant future, [legislators] may outlaw driven cars because they’re too dangerous," Musk was quoted as staying on stage at Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference last week. "We’ll take autonomous cars for granted in quite a short time."
His prediction came just after Tesla announced it would be introducing an autopilot driving mode for its Model S electric cars, and a few weeks after a ridiculously cool driverless Mercedes blew all our minds by driving itself around San Francisco, proving that the future of autonomous vehicles is almost here.
However, he took to Twitter to clear up the fact that he's not endorsing a driverless future, he simply predicts it.
To be clear, Tesla is strongly in favor of people being allowed to drive their cars and always will be. Hopefully, that is obvious.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 17, 2015
However, when self-driving cars become safer than human-driven cars, the public may outlaw the latter. Hopefully not.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 17, 2015
But Musk isn't the only one who thinks that driverless cars are going to be a whole lot better for our roads than unpredictable and easily-distracted humans. A Swedish study earlier this year found that self-driving automobiles could reduce traffic jams and congestion, and 2013 data suggests that they're also a lot safer.
Only time will tell whether computers take over our roads, as they have done with much the rest of our lives, but until then the thought of being able to read a book while my car navigates through the evening commuter traffic is definitely appealing.