I have to ask a light-hearted question: Why does the Planet Express ship need a pilot? (or for that matter, keys...)
In the episode where the ship falls in love with Bender, we see that she is clearly an intelligent and relatively independent machine.
So why does she need a pilot? Why did Prof. Farnsworth hire a pilot for her? Why does she need keys if she can identify the people who are supposed to "fly" her?
In the robot rebellion episode we see that pretty much everything is an intelligent robot, so almost all ships are intelligent. Why do any of them require pilots or drivers?