It looks like Hagerty has its work cut out for itself, and may need whatever income is generated by its upcoming IPO if it hopes to achieve its mission to save driving.
We say that because IDTechEX suggests that people driving cars will be outlawed by 2050.
IDTechEX is a British market research, business intelligence and specialist in emerging technologies that recently published a report entitled “Autonomous Cars, Robotaxis & Sensors 2022-2042.”
In a summary of that report, it suggests, the technology used in autonomous cars will match or exceed human-driver safety by 2024.
“By the 2040s, they will be capable of fulfilling the world’s mobility needs without a single collision,” it predicts. “So why should humans be allowed to continue driving?”
It adds: “Eventually, manual driving could become completely illegal on public roads in the interest of safety. This is not to say that manual driving will completely disappear but may be relegated to a sport, reserved for racing and track days.”
While such prospects may be frightening to those of us who love to drive, IDTechEx says the elimination of humans at the wheel is a matter of public safety and even of criminal neglect.
“For a long time,” it reports, “the parameters around how we can drive our vehicles have been restricted. Speed limits exist to increase safety, seatbelts are mandated to increase safety, and city centers are becoming pedestrianized to increase safety for pedestrians.
“An example is Barcelona, Spain, where super-blocks exist to create large car-free areas. These areas are not only safer for pedestrians but also improve local air quality and create a greener, more pleasant space within the city.
“In other cities, clean air zones are already controlling the type of vehicle allowed in cities. As the maturity of autonomy increases it is conceivable that these zones could become autonomous-only, to improve inner-city pedestrian safety, then rolled out to entire cities, mandating that travel inside the city may only be conducted by autonomous drivers.
“Eventually, manual driving could become completely illegal on public roads in the interest of safety. This is not to say that manual driving will completely disappear but may be relegated to a sport, reserved for racing and track days.
“Imagine being pulled over by the police with a car full of people not wearing seat belts, the police officer says, ‘if you crashed, you could have killed someone.’ Now the same scene but instead of not wearing seatbelts you are operating a vehicle manually in an autonomous-only town center.
“The assumption is that the technology will save lives and not using it is criminally negligent. Would this progression be so unusual? Technology has always caused changes to the laws on how we operate vehicles; as vehicles became faster, speed limits were introduced. When mobile phones emerged their use in vehicles had to be outlawed; as autonomous drivers outperform humans will we be banned from driving altogether?“