“You will no longer need a driving license in 2040”. This statement dates back to 2012. It officially launches a new stage in the race to build and produce self-driving cars. This narrows the boundary between fact and fiction. Google and Tesla are indeed in the process of obtaining authorization to market driverless cars. So what about the driving license in the next few years?
Success of the autonomous car and usefulness of the driving license
Seeing cars on the roads is close to becoming a reality, at least in the United States. Their number will continue to increase in the coming years. According to one estimate, nearly 10 million self-driving cars circulate in the world by 2030.
This figure is expected to increase significantly. Indeed, the forthcoming exhaustion of fossil fuels should accelerate this rate and multiply the production of electric cars in general. Ecological option par excellence, this type of car practically reduces the emission of greenhouse gases. Proponents of autonomous vehicles are riding this wave to promote self-driving cars and it rather succeeded for them. Such a prospect raises the question as to the usefulness of the driving license in the years to come.
Legal responsibility and usefulness of the driving license
Manufacturers and pilot software designers must test their products on the road. The states of California, Florida, Nevada and Michigan in the United States have given them permission. However, in accordance with the Highway Codea driver must be ready to take over the wheel in case of complications.
The argument is simple: self-driving cars are still in the testing phase. They could therefore fail. Seeing the driving license disappear in the next few years is therefore unlikely.
What about legal liability?
One day, manufacturers will develop a vehicle with effective and total autonomy. But even in this context, will state authorities be ready to accept that it rides without any passenger being responsible in the event of an accident ? For their part, will the manufacturers or designers of the control software be ready to take on this responsibility?
Since the system is computerized and automated, an accident can indeed be attributed to a bug or a construction defect. However, industrialists rarely accept publicly toassume the failure of their products and this responsibility. This represents a huge financial risk that they will certainly not want to take.
Driver’s license resists
The statement of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on the uselessness of the driving license in 2040 is therefore a bit radical. Indeed, the legislation in force, at least currently, requires the presence of a legally responsible person behind the wheel. The absence of a driver behind the controls of a moving car would effectively void the driver’s license.
In this context, the good old driver should keep his place behind the controls. Only difference, he will need new skills to control an autonomous car. Such a perspective in no way jeopardizes the future of driving licenses. On the other hand, it requires a certain revision, in particular of the Highway Code.
A driver’s license for an autonomous car
Self-driving car reliability
Manufacturers’ investments are commensurate with their ambitions. However, building a 100% foolproof autonomous vehicle is utopian, even after years of research. In addition, road traffic presents various parameters that are impossible to control.
In this case, it is necessary to set up a device which makes it possible to manually suspend the automatic pilot. This allows a driver to regain control of the vehicle if needed. The individual at the controls must be able to drive a car without endangering road users. Only the driving license guarantees a driver’s ability to drive.
The probability of seeing this piece disappear completely is therefore minimal. On the other hand, the arrival of autonomous cars on the roads will bring changes in the coming years. Starting with the law in force. Indeed, the circulation of such a revolutionary type of vehicle necessarily entails the alteration of the Highway Code.
New regulations could then come into force for the supervision of autonomous cars. A new license authorizing a person to drive this type of car could even see the light of day. This would cause the training to be updated.
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Will the driving license disappear in 2040? – LeBigData.fr
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