Someday, today's cars will be outlawed as will human car drivers too, when driverless, autonomous vehicles powered by artificial intelligence take over the highways.
That's the radical prediction of Tesla Co-Founder and CEO Elon Musk, an electric car pioneer in the automotive industry.
"In the distant future, people may outlaw driven cars because it's too dangerous," Musk told the crowd attending the Nvidia GPU Technology Conference this week. "You can't have a person driving a two-ton death machine."
Musk shared his futuristic vision with Nvidia Co-Founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at the event that drew 4,000 attendees.
Basically, cars will be safer running off AI technology than having a human hand on the wheel, says the inventor of the Tesla Model S, which incorporates two Nvidia chips in its intelligence system. All a driver will have to do in regard to driving will be providing insight on where to go.
"The car is just going to be like that," he said. "You'll be able to tell your car, go here, go there and it will just do it."
While the scenario won't be arriving in the near future, for at least 20 years claims Musk, car technology advances leading up to the semi sci-fi vision is taking place right now.
During the event, Nvidia said its $10,000 self-driving vehicle computer will be available by May. The Drive PX developer system was first announced at the CES show this January. Audi is already signed on to use the system.
Musk's automotive prediction meshes with Huang's expectations regarding auto technology to come.
"A car is essentially software and computers on wheels," Huang said, adding car designs boasting buttons, dials and knobs will disappear and replaced by digital display.
During his keynote address Huang explained how his company's GPU technology will potentially lead to neural networks, which play a big role in autonomous car technology. For example, he told the crowd, such a network will allow the car to recognize a cat but also be able to determine the cat's breed. On a roadway it means the auto will notice the new pothole on a street and make the determination of how to avoid it and whether that requires slowing down or making some other maneuver.
"The car is going to be one delightful computer going down the streets," he said.