Musk: Autonomous Vehicles Mean Future Where Driving Is Illegal

musk autonomous vehicles mean future where driving is illegal

His hand may be on a steering wheel now, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk foresees a future where autonomous vehicles lead to a total ban on human intervention.

Automotive News reports Musk said as much during a conference held by graphics chipmaker Nvidia at its headquarters in San Jose, Calif.:

In the distant future, I think people may outlaw driving cars because it’s too dangerous. You can’t have a person driving a two-ton death machine.

He later clarified on Twitter his own position on the matter, stating his company “is strongly in favor of people being allowed to drive their cars and always will be,” hoping that the statement was obvious to those following along.

As for his appearance at Nvidia, the chipmaker is working to sell a purpose-built autonomous-vehicle computer called Drive PX, based upon its Tegra X1 mobile processor. The system will have 12 inputs for high-res cameras — like the kind Tesla is putting into its Model S right now — and is due to go on sale in May.

Musk added that his engineers are hard at work on improving autonomous technology, believing the tech will take greater control of the wheel on the highway “in a few years.”

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  • OneAlpha OneAlpha on Mar 18, 2015

    Humans! That's the problem! We need to outlaw human beings because they're not safe! Safety Uber Alles! Think of the children! No price too high to pay for the safe, clean, orderly society of the future!

  • Doublechili Doublechili on Mar 18, 2015

    I don't get the controversy. Outlawing human drivers is the natural conclusion of the technology. It will just take a long time to reach that point. But when programmed cars eventually become the norm, insurance costs will skyrocket on people who want to drive themselves. And then it will be the wealthy who are driving themselves, and every time one of them causes injury/death, it will be news and op-ed worthy. So eventually it will be outlawed. So-called autonomous cars will really just be transport pods in a de-facto mass transit system. And "rogue vehicles" don't really fit within that scenario.

    • Stuki Stuki on Mar 19, 2015

      Extrapolating from recent developments in Dystopia, driving will be outlawed as soon as autonomous cars are cheap enough to be affordable by those who are politically connected. Donors, which are wealthy, but also upper middle class apparatchiks, public union drones etc. After all, everyone else really ought to be grateful that the above provides them with a place to wait for the bus anyway. And besides, the above can just go to a track if they want to drive anyway, so what's the problem? If universal public indoctrination is to serve it's intended purpose, the guys spending their lives at the bus stop cheering for demoooocracciii sure won't realize there is one.

  • Cartunez Cartunez on Mar 18, 2015

    Embrace the future no need to fear it although when he uses terms like illegal and legal I sense the clumsy hand of government. As long as it remains a choice (free) I can't see any issues with it.

  • Peeryog Peeryog on Mar 18, 2015

    Don't worry, in the future adding to this thread by humans will be illegal and all further input will be by autonomous contributors. This will reduce the wildly vacillating emotional and incorrect content of the messages and ensure that the contributions contain only certified facts and present a uniformly pleasant user experience.