Will the young kids of today ever have to drive a car in the future? I tell young drivers in my Comedy Defensive Driving School classroom that, in the very near future they will probably be telling their grandchildren “I remember when I was your age and I had to take a defensive driving class.” And their grand kids will say “What was a defensive driving class, Grandpa?” And the Grandparent will say “It was just a big waste of time, because cars are driving themselves now.” Are self-driving cars close to making a teenager’s rite of passage a thing of the past? What will become of future drivers? I remember when I was a teenager, chomping at the bit to get my learners permit and then my driver license. That is the first step to becoming an adult and being independent of your parents. Our kids of today may not have that experience. Self driving cars are already hitting the streets. Google is doing it, but has had a few setbacks in rolling out their self-driving Uber car. The first roll out was in San Francisco, but the California Department of Motor Vehicles put a stop to it, claiming that “It is illegal for the company to operate its self-driving vehicles on public roads until it receives an autonomous vehicle testing permit.” Tesla has also featured the auto-pilot mode. And now a robotics expert is saying what many people have been thinking for a while. Kids of today may never have to drive a car. Henrik Christensen of the University of California, San Diego says fully autonomous cars are ten to fifteen years out. Some auto makers like Ford and GM say they’ll have self-driving cars on the road in five years. Many people speculate that car ownership in general will become a thing of the past.
It will be interesting how this all affects the economy and the environment. Most city residents do not have a license to drive since it costs more to rent a parking space than it does your apartment rent in most large cities. And cities have better public transportation, which now includes Uber and Lyft. So, city folk typically don’t learn how to drive, perhaps this is what we will see in our future, everywhere.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Future Drivers – Comedy Defensive Driving School