We have been talking a lot about the change in driving licences as the UK transitions from the old paper document to digital records. Even with implementation of the changes being delayed by six months, even bigger changes are coming that could spell the end of the driving licence as we know it. The changes are wrapped up in new technology that has driverless cars now on the horizon.
It was recently announced that the Government has given its approval to the full, large-scale testing of driverless cars on UK roads. Furthermore, information has recently emerged suggesting that no driving licence will be required to use a driverless vehicle in the future. According to the Daily Mail, the changes are part of a broader initiative to put the UK at the forefront of driverless technology in Europe.
The UK is already a leader in a number of other important technologies, including high-speed broadband internet, and the Government is intent on making sure we are also leading the way on driverless transportation. Government officials say the technology needed to make driverless cars a reality already exists, and is even being used to some extent, so there is no reason to delay progress any further.
The Daily Mail suggests that the greatest beneficiaries of driverless cars requiring no licence are mothers, children, the disabled, and the elderly. However, what are the implications for business? Will we see the day when even commercial vehicles no longer have drivers? Probably. In fact, it may only be a matter of time.Driverless HGVs
Testing is already under way in numerous European countries on driverless HGVs. The concept for the heavier commercial vehicles is the same as it is for passenger vehicles: driverless HGVs would be more efficient, better for traffic control and less likely to be involved in accidents. Having said that, the size and weight of HGVs is requiring manufacturers and designers to progress a bit more slowly with their development. Nevertheless, it should not be long before we start seeing target dates in place for converting commercial vehicles to driverless technology.
In the meantime, any business utilising company owned vehicles still relies on human drivers with legitimate licences. Therefore, it is imperative that company owners and fleet managers take the time to make sure all new hires have clean, valid driving licences prior to beginning employment. Current drivers should also be checked on a regular basis.
Fleet Licence Check is happy to assist companies of all sizes with one off services or complete licence checking and claims handling packages. We are an approved licence checking company with direct access to government records, making it easy for you to check the driving licences of your employees without the hassle of dealing with the DVLA on your own. You simply provide us with the necessary information to run licence checks for you. The results are returned directly to you. Contact us for more information.
1. Daily Mail – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2943467/Driverless-cars-green-light-WON-T-need-licence-meaning-ll-able-school-run-own.html