Having held a driving license since the age of 16, I was initially skeptical about the extent to which autonomous vehicles would permeate future transportation infrastructure. How could one not enjoy the pleasure of driving from point A to B? As long as you weren't stuck in a jam of course. But if the latest report by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute is anything to go by, it may well be that the autonomous vehicle will be an indispensable component of urban transport infrastructure and beyond.
Why? Because today's Internet-centric teens and twentysomethings in the US are increasingly foregoing driver's licenses. In a new report examining changes in driver licensure in the U.S. from 1983 to 2014, Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the institute found a continuous decrease in the percentage of those under age 45 with a license. Even the proportion of Americans ages 45-69 with driver's licenses have declined overall since 2008, following a 25-year rise.