Both the automotive community and industry are on the edge of their seats on news of self-driving cars. Though the futuristic invention is presently speculated rumor, it is still a novelty many people may want to see become a reality within their lifetime. As a matter of fact, there are many inventions imagined in many futuristic films people have been clamoring for. The Inquisitr reported on one such invention being the hoverboard in Back to the Future: Part II. Such an invention was delegated only to be used by Marty McFly in the famous trilogy but someone was able to create one using leaf blowers.
Unlike hoverboards, that improve on novelty, self-driving cars improve on a modern day necessity. As a matter of fact, said improvements are linked to tantamount perceived benefits that Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, believes may cause human-driven cars to become illegal.
According to the Huffington Post, autonomous cars might prove to be far safer than human drivers, that people won’t even be allowed to be in the driver’s seat anymore. As mentioned earlier, such a belief has been expressed by Elon Musk. He made it known to Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of NVidia, during their company’s GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California.
“People may outlaw driving cars because it’s too dangerous. You can’t have a person driving a two-ton death machine.”
It should be noted that even though Elon Musk believes human-driven cars may become illegal, it is not something he is in support of. Musk made sure to clarify this part through recent updates on his official Twitter account.
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 Musk’s words do reflect probable insight of an unwanted result. Aldous Huxley, for example, insinuated the way civilized society thought and acted in his most popular novel Brave New World would be the same for civilized countries (United States, United Kingom) in the future. However, Huxley was nowhere near wanting the predictions in his book to come true. He just saw the direction society was going and sociologically predicted what would come from it.
Fortunately for those who love to gun it behind the wheel, society is a long way off from making human-driven cars illegal. First, there are 2 billion cars on the road today. It is estimated that it will take 20 years to replace every single human-driven car with a self-driving one.
Secondly, MSN reports that Tesla doesn’t have a product that is safe enough to be released to the public. For starters, self-driving cars are constantly scanning the environment around them, mostly to adjust to speed limits and avoid accidents. However, the environmental logistics of a self-driving car moving at 15 miles per hour would be different if it were driving at 50 miles per hour, in which higher speeds are far more challenging for the car’s scanning ability thus making it harder.
Then there’s the issue of self-driving cars being hacked. Elon Musk made it clear there are some basic security concerns that need to be resolved before people could simply sit back and let cars drive themselves. Musk has said Tesla is trying to work on preventing any hacking of their self-driving cars’ systems. It was already proven that human-driven cars can easily be hacked if it has data connections of any kind, including WiFi.
Until then, self-driving cars will simply be an endeavoring dream. But if Elon Musk and Tesla can truly create one that proves to be safer than if it were driven by humans, Musk’s prediction of human-driven cars being illegal may become a reality sooner than later.
[Image via The Wall Street Journal]