"In 10 years, I think, almost all cars produced would be autonomous," Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk told his audience of more than 30 U.S. governors in Rhode Island on Saturday. The innovative entrepreneur was the guest in a keynote conversation during the National Governors Association Summer Meeting, and he spoke about — among other things — the future ubiquity of autonomous vehicles in automakers' production lines.
"It will be rare to find one that is not, in ten years. That’s going to be a huge transformation," Musk asserted.
While he believes autonomous systems will comprise the vast majority of newly produced cars by then, however, the shift to self-driving cars outnumbering traditional ones on the roads will take about five to ten more years. That doesn't mean all human-driven cars will be gone 20 years from now, however.
Musk expects the shift to autonomous systems will be similar to the one that took place following the introduction of the first mass-produced automobiles about a century ago, which displaced the previous mode of transportation: horses.
"It will be like having a horse. People have horses, which is cool. There will be people who have non-autonomous cars, like people have horses," he explained. "It would just be unusual to use that as a mode of transport."
With autonomous vehicles predicted to be safer and more efficient than their traditional counterparts, hopefully these owners of the next-generation of "classic" cars will choose to keep them in the garage more often than they take them on the road.