A Wall Street analyst recently asked Elon Musk if he foresaw a future in which human drivers were banned.
Musk said no.
That seems right to me.
Modern vehicles are designed to last 10–20 years, and car manufacturers are having record years, so lots of consumers are buying cars today that will last until 2025 or 2030. Those consumers aren’t going to let governments ban their vehicles from the road, and retrofitting those vehicles will be prohibitively expensive for many people.
What seems more plausible is to build a network of “autonomous only roads”, kind of like an Interstate Highway system for self-driving cars.
Even that might be a heavy lift in the United States, though, where infrastructure projects are subject to an array of veto-wielding interest groups.
China, anyone? Brazil? Russia?
The list of states that might be able to build out autonomous vehicle infrastructure faster than the US is strange, and maybe a little depressing.