I’m a proponent of automation, and I think manual driving will eventually be either outlawed or relegated to very rare and expensive sertification requirements. But that doesn’t mean I’m a proponent of outlawing manual driving. It’s just an inevitable outcome of automation.
As I said more verbosely above, those of us who actively enjoy driving are vastly outnumbered by the people who drive because they have to in order to get somewhere. Those people are going to turn driving over to the computer the minute it’s technically feasible for them to do so.
Eventually those people are going to get irritated at the idea of having to have a license to do the thing that they will never do again, and then they’re going to seek legislation that allows people to be a passenger in an auto-drive car without having to have a licensed driver in the car.
So now the DMV suddenly sees an enormous drop in business in the driver license line because only the small percentage of us who like to drive are bothering to get a license.
At some point interest in getting a license will fall off sufficiently that DMVs will have to close, because it will be considered stupid to waste millions of taxpayer dollars to serve maybe 20 people a month.
At best we will revert to a system more like general aviation. Currently there are vastly fewer flight schools than there are driving schools. The federal government handles pilot licensure, in part because no state wants anything to do with it. It’s expensive and serves a tiny fraction of the population. Sound familiar?
But it is I think more likely that manual driving will simply end up being relegated to private motoring parks (race tracks, etc) in part because manufacturers will push for it because it’s a whole lot cheaper to build a car that doesn’t have any driver controls in it.
In the end, it doesn’t matter whether I’m for automation or not, because it’s going to happen (and incidentally is going blow up the economy when it comes because suddenly everyone who has a job driving something is going to get fired). As it happens I’m for automation in principle, but am not looking forward to the initial fallout including the loss of driving privileges that will follow.
But a point that needs to be stressed is that acknowledging the inevitability of something is not synonymous with being in favor of it.