Apparently there will be 10 million self-driving cars on the road by 2020. That’s soon. I’m 15. This time in 3 years I will be getting ready for my final year of school and I’ll be able to get my ‘L’ plates.
So, if there will be 10 million self-driving cars on the road by then, is there any point in me actually trying to get my driver’s license? And how will they affect my life and the lives of those around me?
What are the actual benefits?
A benefit of driverless cars is safety. 81% of car crashes are the result of human error, so they would definitely decrease the amount of car accidents on the road.
More benefits are that people with a disability and the elderly will be able to stop relying on public transport, and have the ability to travel around freely, where they want, when they want.
Driverless cars are also expected to reduce labour costs and fuel costs. These all sound amazing and quite helpful to society and the environment, however there are also many problems that need to be addressed and dealt with before driverless cars can be put into action.
Are there any potential problems?
Despite driverless cars being useful, they also come with many issues and complications. They will send the unemployment rate up due to the fact that autonomous vehicles are going to remove jobs from society. Makes sense, right? Driverless cars don’t need… drivers! These jobs include taxi, rideshare services, truck drivers, and even driving teachers (remember the ‘will I even need to have a driver’s license?’ thing?).
Self-driving cars will also have an impact on our economy. Driving and parking tickets generate a lot of income for the government.
Driverless cars will also bring about moral debate — for example, does a driverless car prioritise the safety of passengers or pedestrians?
These considerations will all be taken into account when thinking about a future of driverless cars. As a start, the education system will likely change to prepare students like me for the future.
How will they change the way we do things?
If I am stopped by police in my self-driving vehicle will I be required to show a driver’s licence? There’s so much to consider when thinking about the fact that in a few years’ time not every truck or car will have a human sitting behind the wheel.
Receiving your driver’s license is viewed as a milestone, something to celebrate. When someone gets their full driver’s license, ‘P’ plate or even ‘L’ plate, it’s a milestone and often they upload a photo to social media to commemorate the event. I think, in the future, getting your licence won’t be such a big deal, mostly because we won’t need to get them.
So do I want a driverless car?
Although there are many things to consider when it comes to driverless cars, I believe the benefits heavily outweigh these problems.
I am very excited to see what the future holds, and will be very happy if it turns out to include driverless cars in mainstream society. It doesn’t bother me that I might not be learning how to drive. Even though it does seem like fun, a safer, smarter roads seem pretty cool too.