Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Sun Sets on a Driver's License

German innovation and discussion topics over innovation always interest me.

Today, there was a brief discussion via ARD (Channel One of state-run media) over this future innovation that they can see coming....the requirement to have a drivers license if you intend to operate a car.

There's a law discussion group working within the German transportation department.....formatting the future rules of driver-less cars and how the system will function.  Generally, it's expected that the rules will be adapted within three years (at least back in the summer, that was the talk) where driver-less vehicles would exist on German roads.

To be honest, based on past efforts....it wouldn't surprise me if it's six or seven years in the future, but Germans are always optimistic.

So, the way this would work.....there would be this car sold by X-company which would meet these conditions.  Once met, you would be a passenger and the car would drive you to the location desired, and if required....you could take over.

I generally expect a five-to-ten year period where cars all have this dual-capability.  Then, there will be some brand that will go entirely driver-less, with a very limited option of you taking over.  At that point, people will begin to evaluate why you need a license.

Using some logic and imagination.....one might think around 2040....as you ask the local license bureau in your German city of 200,000 about applications for the past year, and come to discover that it's one-quarter of the normal number of 2015.

These driver-trainer operations that you see throughout German cities?  They will quietly shut-down one-by-one and it'll become a skill that rapidly disappears.  Oh, there will still be scooter or motor-cycle licenses.....I don't ever see them going away.  But within forty years....an actual driver's license just won't be required unless you have an antique car, or some low-technology vehicle.

I'll admit....it'll be a strange world and we will handcuffed ourselves to a vast amount of technology.  Without the satellite coverage, the internet, the innovation.....we won't be able to convey ourselves from one point to another.  Maybe it's a good thing.....maybe not.

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