elon musk self-driving Tesla
Elon Musk predicts that in a couple of decades self-driving vehicles will be ubiquitous (Reuters)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has warned that when self-driving car technologies become safer than human-driven cars, driving a car manually could be made illegal.

Musk's comments came during a conversation with Nvidia co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang at the computing company's annual developers conference.

"It's too dangerous. You can't have a person driving a two-ton death machine," Musk said, while also acknowledging that widespread use of autonomous vehicles is still a long way off.

The technology behind self-driving cars was described by the entrepreneur as a "solved problem", it was now a matter of implementing it.

Musk predicted that due to the size of the automotive industrial base it would take around 20 years to switch entirely to self-driving vehicles.

Fears of advancing artificial intelligence that have previously been expressed by Musk were not linked with the rise of autonomous vehicles.

"I don't think we have to worry about autonomous cars, because that's sort of like a narrow form of AU," Musk said. "It would be like an elevator. They used to have elevator operators, and then we developed some simple circuitry to have elevators just automatically come to the floor that you're at. The car is going to be just like that."

To clarify his comments, Musk took to Twitter to say that Tesla was "strongly in favour" of people being allowed to drive their cars manually, however such an act could be outlawed due to increased autonomous car safety.