Today’s 5-year-olds will never need to drive or hold a licence

If you have a child under the age of five, they will never need to drive a car or hold a driving licence.

That is according to Irish inventor and entrepreneur Bobby Healy, who is making the assertion about the future of driving based on current electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous driving technology.

“If you’ve a five-year-old, they’ll never drive a car and they’ll never need a licence,” said Mr Healy.

“It sounds like I’m talking about 50 years’ time, but I’m not, I’m talking about 10 years’ time.”

Mr Healy is chief technology officer at Car Trawler, a multi-million euro travel technology company.

The entrepreneur, who was designing computer games for Nintendo at 16 years of age, also claimed that car-related road deaths will be reduced to zero by 2050, because of autonomous driving.

Mr Healy believes that, in approximately 30 years’ time, cars will become a place to socialise in, as well as work or sleep.

“Wide-scale adoption will be within 10 years,” he said. “And what does wide-scale adoption mean? Companies like Uber, Lyft, MyTaxi, big-invested companies, highly-capitalised companies have stated quite categorically that 100% of their rides, within 10 years, will be driverless.”

Both Mr Healy and his wife drive EVs and regularly drive to Cork and Galway in their vehicles.

His car has 35,000km on the clock and he has yet to pay for a single drop of fuel. He estimates a cash saving of €4,000.

His wife’s car charges at home via a standard three-prong socket.

However, he said the Government is way behind the curve when it comes to EVs, considering the ESB has installed a national charging network.

“There are two major misconceptions when it comes to EVs — one is range, and one is charging points,” said Mr Healy.

“It doesn’t help when the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, goes on the national airwaves saying he looked at the possibility of driving an electric car a little while ago but the range seemed to be a little bit low for him at the time.

“He could go two or three times from his home to his office... on a fully-charged Nissan Leaf.”

Environmentally speaking, the inventor said EVs will dramatically reduce our carbon emissions and that Ireland’s major renewable power, wind, is the “ideal” energy source.

“It’s a sustained output, you couldn’t pick a better power,” he said.

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