On the last day of my vacation last month, I was standing on a crowded subway train in Tokyo. I realized I might be one of the few people on the train who knew how to drive.
I began to wonder if there will be a future where no one drives. A combination of self-driving vehicles and better public transportation could drastically reduce the number of people who get licenses.
I for one, hate driving. The expense of the car, the gas and time lost waiting in traffic. It gets worse when you add stressful winter driving conditions, rude drivers and human error. The traffic either moves too fast or too slow. Will there be a last generation of people who know how to drive?
Will fewer drivers be a problem? We’re so used to the car chase in movies and novels, instantly dating them.
In Utah where I grew up, the expense of high school Drivers Ed classes that nearly every sophomore takes, with their extra teachers, fleet of student driver cars and parking lots devoted to being driving courses, would end.
Yet will something be lost when we climb into cars that drive themselves, sensibly and on pre-planned routes? Some of the places I like to travel make enjoyable road trips and a train would not be an ideal way to experience some of the natural areas. Ironically, an inability to drive might limit my ability to go into remote areas where people are scarce and relatively untouched nature abounds. A guide could take people there, but camping and hiking with a stranger is not the same as discovering a place on your own. Although in Japan many times, I wished for a personal guide.
What do you think a future without drivers looks like?