To take the news media at their word would be to assume that the era of driverless cars is at the doorstep. It's not, as explained by a July story from the BBC. Still, there is that bothersome issue of driving licences at such time as driverless cars and trucks do become the norm. Will we still need licences? If so, what purpose will these serve?
We provide a driver licence check service as a means of protecting employers in the event someone without a proper licence tries to get a job or continues working after a ban. It is rather interesting to speculate whether such licence checks would be necessary in a society that depended on driverless vehicles. We think so, and here's why:
1. Drivers Will Still Be Necessary
People not in the business of designing and building driverless vehicles envision the day when they will get into some sort of vehicle at the side of the street, tell it where they want to go, and then let it work its magic without any intervention. Not only is such technology not even close to reality, but it probably never will be.
The human brain relies on more than just data to make decisions. We rely on intuition, instinct, and moral reasoning. For example, let's say you and your family are travelling down the street and you come across a mother and child crossing in front of you. Your brain instantly recognises an unavoidable dilemma: you either drive off the road and risk the lives of your family, or you continue moving forward knowing that you will strike and possibly kill the pedestrians. You can only make that decision with moral reasoning. A machine cannot do that.
For this reason alone, it will not be possible to completely eliminate drivers from the equation. As such, the driving licence will never completely fade away. It may be different 50 years from now, but it will still exist – because drivers will still exist.
2. With Licences Come Violations
The second reason we will still be offering driver licence checks is the simple fact that with licences come violations. The idea behind the electronic driver licence check is to protect employers against legal and civil liability. That protection will still be necessary in the future even though driving licences may be drastically different.
BBC – http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40570592