This past weekend here in Germany, we had an interesting test-demonstration at a race-track. Audi came up and ran one of their high-performance cars....without a driver.
Sensors were turned on....a database of the track was planned out....and it effectively ran the track with no driver in the car. Thousands sat at the track, and watched the demonstration and were amazed at the degree of technology being demonstrated.
So, I'm to this way of thought.....these kids of today....sixteen years year....are likely to be the last hands-on trained drivers still left in twenty years. We will reach a point by 2035, where I suspect that most cars will have a GPS unit, a driver-handling unit, and the guy sitting in the left seat.....won't be doing anything other than plugging in the destination and instructions to avoid certain towns, roads, or intersections. Beyond that.....we will not be driving.
It's hard to imagine an entire society coming up by 2035.....youthful and daring.....and that driving talents will not be taught. By 2060, there won't be many people left who have acquired real driving talents, and I suspect that driver exams will be rarely given and require some kind of excessive fee by the county or state.
A delivery truck pulling up to the gas station, with no driver? A sensor-led pallet jack will unload one pallet of sodas and put them on the backdoor step of the store. A kid sitting back at some delivery headquarters will monitor everything and ensure that the receipt is accepted, and the jack loads itself back onto the truck....which then hauls off to the next store within 216-seconds of delivery. No chit-chat. No breaks. No excuses.
One guy monitoring deliveries from the county distribution point of five self-driven trucks in the county.
Driving cross country? You will simply step into the vehicle.....lounge out comfortably and sleep for twelve hours while your vehicle quietly reads the situation, adjusts for rain and snow, and then delivers you to the final point.
A great talent lost? Driving made you calculate and appreciate danger. Driving taught you the art of making decisions and thinking ahead. Driving gave you an appreciation over taking care of a vehicle and careful selection of tires to meet your driving situation. It will be a sad day, I think.....when we get the driver-less car.