by Rod D. Martin
March 18, 2015
During his keynote presentation at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference, Elon Musk raised a few eyebrows when he said we may be entering an age where people choose to ban human-driven cars because they aren’t as safe as automated transportation.
“In the distant future,” he said, “They may outlaw driven cars because they’re too dangerous.”
This future is not actually as far off as you might think, Musk said, adding that he considers autonomous vehicles to be a “solved problem” and that the larger issue is making the software and hardware reliable enough to conform to safety standards that regulators will expect. He predicted regulators won’t come on board until at least two to three years after self-driving cars become safer than human-driven ones.
While we may be a few years from regulatory approval for driverless cars, Elon thinks we may at some point outlaw driven cars. However, he cautioned later that though this might happen, he does not support the idea and wants the freedom to drive cars.
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
Elon is right to be on top of this, just as he’s right to sound an alarm about AI. Safety is great; technology is liberating. But go too far down the former path and the latter ceases to be true. It may not be quite Orwell, but it might be Asimov’s Solaria.