From inventing the wheel to launching a car in space, we have come a long way. Cars have changed the way we live and they are going to continue to impact our lives going ahead as well. Small cars, big cars, long cars, tall cars, electric cars… the list goes on and on. However, the driving factor behind most cars, fuel, is not going to last forever. Hence, the alternative, electric cars. This is the future, it is almost certain. However, the timing isn’t.
Self-driving cars are now taking baby steps around the world. But will they take over the preferred spot from fuel-driven cars? And what will happen to manually-driven cars and to the good old driving license? Read ahead to know the answers.
Significance of a Driving License
Your driving license is as valuable as your car’s keys. After all, you cannot drive a car without it, at least legally. It is awarded only after you go through a process stipulated by the authorities. You have to pass a learner’s driving license test, apply for a driver’s license, pass a practical test, and then you can lay your hands on your driving license.
Nowadays, a driving license contains the applicant’s biometric information and comes in a Smart Card. An embedded chip is used to store this information. Your name, address, date of birth, photograph, driving license number and signature is printed on your driving license. It also states which type of vehicles you are authorized to drive.
You need to carry your driving license while driving your vehicle and display it if relevant authorities ask you to do so. Not doing so can land you in trouble. Your driving license can get suspended if you break the law and you will have to face hefty traffic fines. It needs to be renewed in a timely manner as well. If you happen to lose your driving license, you have to apply for a duplicate driving license.
Peeping In The Future
As per an estimate, self-driving cars sales are poised to hit 10 million worldwide by the year 2030. And that number will rise in the years going ahead. With the depletion of natural resources, it is almost certain that cars will look at electricity as their driving force.
Currently, there are a few active self-driving buses and shuttles in European countries. However, their number isn’t substantial and other cars are more or less experimental. But this does tell us that the world is moving in certain direction.
As of now, it is difficult to predict the exact nature of automation self-driving cars might offer. Most likely scenario is where these cars might have a manual override function wherein the driver can take over the self-driven aspect if the need arises.
In that case, the person behind the steering needs to go through a process and possess a driving license for everyone’s safety. Thus, it is likely that the driving license isn’t going to go extinct soon. Your driving license number is still going to be crucial and not carrying a driver’s license will make you susceptible to traffic fines. If and when cars become fully autonomous and no manual intervention is needed to drive them, then the driving license will cease to exist.
Self-driving might take decades to fully arrive in India. India is battling basic infrastructure issues and self-driving cars are not going to be in the picture anytime soon in the country.
Infrastructure and security concerns are two major challenges restricting the growth of self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are poised to take over fuel driven cars eventually but it still is a distant reality if not a far fetched dream.
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