IT'S PERSONAL: Who Will Drive Tomorrow?
A few days ago, I posted a blog originally published on Rebel Metropolis entitled “Every Car a Murder, Every Bicycle A Love Affair.” The anonymous author speculated on why the current generation of 18-35 year-olds are driving less and owning fewer cars. In response, Steven Forth, shared a personal piece of anecdotal information that, while admittedly not scientific, should give carmakers pause. He writes,” I have three kids in their mid to late 20s. One has two children. Two have good jobs, one is doing a Masters in Los Angeles. None of them owns a car. Two do not have drivers licenses. Less than half of their friends own cars. More than one-third do not have drivers licenses. There is a values shift happening and it is important to understand this. It is unevenly distributed for sure. And as William Gibson once said, ‘the future is here just unevenly distributed.’”
Then I came across a revelatory graph that shows the dramatic decline in 16-19 year olds in America with a valid drivers license. From a peak of more than 70% in the early ‘80s, it has plunged to 50% in 2010.
Maybe, as Steve suggests, there’s a shift in values taking place here, or maybe they just expect cars will be driving themselves by 2020, so who needs a license?
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