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Will the Driving Test Exist in 2040?

Industry experts reckon that in just over 20 years the driving test will be a thing of the past, with self-driving cars ruling the roads. Based on findings and discussions from a panel of automotive industry experts and car manufacturers, it’s estimated that the current driving test could be made redundant by 2043.

A rise in the sophistication and adoption of autonomous car technology taking over driving duties means there’s a very real possibility that the driving test could be phased out in the next 20 years. However, until then, experts predict that the driving test will have to evolve to accommodate advances in technology.

Assembled by HPI, a vehicle data and history-check specialist, the panel of experts predict that further technological advancements will lead to a phasing out of the steering wheel, replaced by a “fully connected and synchronised” network preventing fully self-driving cars from colliding into each other.

What About the Driving Theory Test?

With no practical driving test, the need for a theory test could become obsolete, too. Matt Freeman, an automotive analyst on the panel, said: “the car will become a pod in which people travel to and from their destinations.

“They will be able to do other things such as work online, have conversations, play games or even sleep while in transit, so the need for road awareness, directions and understanding road signs and signals will be redundant.”

Mr Freeman’s comments imply that self-driving cars will bring an end to driving theory. With no need for road awareness or an understanding of road signs and traffic signals, the prospect of driverless cars bringing an end to driver testing, which began in 1934 with the introduction of the practical test, is a very real possibility.

Mr Freeman did add that currently, consumer resistance to driverless cars is strong, saying: “Consumer resistance to the driverless car should not be underestimated – there are still those who steer clear of satellite navigation.

“However, for the majority of drivers, driving is a chore, and the banality of modern commuting will push an increasing number of people to explore the technology.”

Driver Testing Steered Toward Technology

The trend towards introducing technology to driver testing entered a new chapter in December 2017, when an overhaul of the practical driving test saw sat nav driving

introduced. Test candidates are now expected to demonstrate that they can follow sat nav directions. Historically, driver testing has steered towards using technology. In 1996, the driving theory test was a paper-based exam before switching to a computerised test in 2000. In November 2002, the hazard perception test was added to computerised driver testing.

Now it seems that the theory test and practical driving exam could soon surrender their existence to technology completely!


Watch this space!

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