As cars get more and more computerized, some people think that in 20 years cars might not even need a driver at all.
That would mean that a kid born today might not ever need to get their driver’s license, or if they did that they’d only have it for a few years.
More teenagers are putting off getting their license
While some teens equate turning 16 with getting their license, the American Automobile Association reported in 2015 that more than half of teenagers don’t get their license even a year after they’ve been eligible. This reflects a longer trend over the past 20 years of teens taking their time to get licensed.
Economics is involved
Although the U.S. has made progress since the Great Recession of 2007, teenagers still face stiff competition for jobs. Combined with the high cost of insurance and tighter purse strings from mom and dad, many teens are compelled to find transportation that doesn’t mean taking on the cost of car ownership.
How teens hang out is changing
Just as powerful is the evolution in social dynamics. Thanks to social media and the Internet, teens can hang out together online without ever sitting down in person. Online shopping has taken the allure out of the mall. And video games that used to happen in the basement can now be shared via Wi-Fi on a phone.
Technology is changing the car itself
For those teens that will have access to a car in 20 years, the car they get might be able to drive itself. Just as few teenagers today know how to operate a manual transmission, it might be that few teenagers in two decades will have more than general knowledge about how to operate a vehicle.
Teenagers are idealistic and are increasingly thinking about their personal impact on the planet. While there will be plenty of kids who won’t think twice about driving across town for a party, there will also be those who encourage biking or using public transportation instead.
These are some of our thoughts. What responses do they inspire in you? Share your answer on Facebook!