A few weeks ago I had dinner with friends and colleagues in Barcelona. My colleague Ingrid asked me if I believed that my son would have a driving license later on in life. I promptly answered no, there will be no need for a driving license as we define it today by the time my son is allowed to drive.
By the year 2032, when my son will reach the legal age for driving in Sweden, most so called cars (below transportation) will likely be autonomous. Therefore it’s quite plausible that there will not be any need for a human interface for driving and it will not make sense to require a driving license. All the driving and decision-making will be done by intelligent software.
It will be a time when artificial intelligence has replaced humans from all sorts of different perspectives. There will be very few jobs and tasks that robots cannot do better and more efficient. And humanity’s main goal will be to reduce human error over time.
In 2032 my son will wake up in the morning, get ready to commute, and most likely sleep all the way until he gets to wherever he is heading. Maybe he owns the transportation, maybe it’s shared or perhaps on-demand. Lots of time is saved from not having to go to the car, drive, and getting stuck in traffic jams. Time will be utilised to what he wants and prefers—be it working, sleeping, exercising, reading, or spending time with others.
He will be oblivious to all the human shortcomings that are limiting driving performance (and responsible for the vast majority of road accidents today). The transportation solutions of 2032 will follow the law to the letter, preventing accidents caused by human drivers. The transportation solutions will perform perfectly in any stressful scenarios, preventing, even more, accidents.
The transportation supersedes and replaces most forms of public transportation, like buses and taxis. The people who want the advantages of self-driving transportation are willing to sacrifice the advantages of regular cars.
There is already a market for self-driving cars, people are ready now. And there will definitely be no need for a driving license for my son. He won’t be driving.
And yes, I know there are still unanswered questions about things such as who is legally liable in case of accidents or who pays for that parking ticket? The law isn’t very clear on that right now because, well, driverless cars are still a work in progress.
I am confident, however, that before they are allowed on the roads for general use, laws regarding them will be in place.
What do you think the world will be like 15 years from now?