A few weeks ago, I had dinner with friends and colleagues in Barcelona. My colleague Ingrid asked me if I believed my son would have a driving license later in life. I promptly answered no; there will be no need for driving support as we define it today by the time my son is allowed to go.
By 2032, when my son reaches the legal age for driving in Sweden, most so-called cars (below transportation) will likely be autonomous. Therefore it’s entirely 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. Instead, all the driving and decision-making will be done by intelligent software.
It will be when artificial intelligence has replaced humans from different perspectives. There will be very few jobs and tasks that robots cannot do better and more efficiently. And humanity’s primary 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 until he gets to wherever he is heading. Maybe he owns the transportation; maybe it’s shared or perhaps on-demand. Time is saved from not having to drive to the car and get stuck in traffic jams. Time will be utilised for what he wants and prefers—working, sleeping, exercising, reading, or spending time with others.
He will be oblivious to all the human shortcomings limiting driving performance and responsible for most road accidents today. The transportation solutions of 2032 will follow the law to the letter, preventing accidents caused by human drivers. Furthermore, the transportation solutions will perform flawlessly in any stressful scenario, containing even more casualties.
Transportation supersedes and replaces most forms of public transport, like buses and taxis. The people who want the advantages of self-driving transportation are willing to sacrifice the benefits of regular cars.
There is already a market for self-driving cars; people are ready now. And there will 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 who is legally liable in case of accidents or who pays for that parking ticket. Unfortunately, the law isn’t apparent because driverless cars are still a work in progress.
I am confident that laws regarding them will be in place before they are allowed on the roads for general use.
What do you think the world will be like 15 years from now?