Driving requires an understanding and a level of experience of certain physical forces that we have trusted or assumed to be acquired by about age 16. These forces can be deadly when not given the proper respect. Being gifted does not equal experience. An automobile is clearly a deadly machine and it would be a social irresponsibility to license anyone that is not fully prepared for the skill. At times a driver is faced with sudden unexpected decisions that only a minimum level of wisdom can resolve.
Errors while driving can be extremely costly, which is why there are laws, codes, insurances, and consequences for them. Lives and property($$$) are at stake, and one of these is priceless. What will you explain to the parents/loved ones of your victim - - . . . but I am mentally gifted. If you are so mentally and academically gifted, you would have researched this question within an authorized forum and answered it for yourself then provided answers for anyone else, such as a truly gifted person does. I was classified as gifted and placed in special education programs such as MGM, PASS, and GATE. I was bussed to the high school while in Jr. High for advanced math and science classes, but I was not born with driving abilities. And although I passed both test at age 16 with perfect scores, I still went on to make several mistakes while on the road.
Driving is a skill that is learned and improved through practice. The physical forces and practice nessesary for driving, in an analogy, can almost be compared to a fast intense sport such as basketball (you must maneuver, drive, pass, signal, be defensive at all times, understand apply and utilize the physical forces, practice, be coached like when you get your permit, have good hand-eye motor skills, follow rules, calculate distances and the list goes on). You are academically gifted, does this make you a basketball/sports star?
Currently, with so many cars on the road, distractions, personal and self-inflicted pressures, as well as recurring adversities (weather, construction, road conditions, etc.), I truly believe that this responsibility should be changed to age 18. When I signed my license (which is a contract) with DMV I was 16 years old, a minor. Everyone knows that a contract with a minor is invalid. Driving truly is an adult responsibility. Final question for thought, If you are gifted and would like a license early, how late should students that are held back or have a low GPA/test scores wait for a driver's license?