No Human Drivers By 2040 - Israel

According to the chief scientist of Israel's Ministry of Transport, the days of human drivers (and human error) are limited.

“By 2040 people won’t be allowed to drive on public roads, because people make many more mistakes than machines, and we think that autonomous vehicles will dramatically reduce the number of fatalities from car accidents,” Dr. Shay Soffer, the Ministry of Transport’s chief scientist told The Jerusalem Post.

That, he said, is why Israel is pushing to be on the cutting edge of driverless-car technology, both in terms of helping companies such as Mobileye develop it, and in terms of getting it on the road.

Mobileye, whose technology is reportedly embedded in Tesla’s cars, currently has three driverless cars roaming Israel’s streets, though they are required to have an alert driver at the wheel to take control should things go awry. The cars are constantly collecting data to feed back into the Mobileye system.

Once again, science fiction readers are prepared for even the most dramatic statements about technology. The great Arthur C. Clarke expressed his opinion about the future of autonomous cars and human drivers in his 1976 novel Imperial Earth:

As the beautiful old car cruised in almost perfect silence under the guidance of it's automatic controls, Duncan tried to see something of the terrain through which she was passing. The spaceport was 50 km from the city - no one had yet invented a noiseless rocket - and the four-lane highway bore a surprising amount of traffic. Duncan could count at least 20 vehicles of different types and even though they were all moving in the same direction, the spectacle was somewhat alarming.

"I hope all those other cars are on automatic," he said anxiously.

Washington looked a little shocked. "Of course," he said. "It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway. But we still have occasional psychopaths to kill themselves and other people..."
(Read more about Arthur C. Clarke's autonomous cars)

Update 07-Oct-2017: Isaac Asimov stated this idea a quarter-century earlier than Clarke; see the entry for laws against human drivers. End update.

Via Jerusalem Post.

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