Self-driving cars are coming soon and will revolutionize cities and society
When i was a kid, one of my favorite things was a series of books i had filled with speculation about advancements of the future. The intervening decades have muddied my memory of them, and all i can recall with any clarity was a depiction of self-driving cars that operated on roads inlaid with powerful magnets that would pull the car along to whatever destination the occupant desired.
Time passed, and i always think fondly of that book whenever i’m stuck in traffic, or driving while tired, or even simply wishing i could just get inside and have the car take me where i wanted to go. It always niggled in my mind that it would take an enormous effort to remake every road in America to equip these magnetic systems, essentially an impossible task (or highly improbable at best). We can’t even reliably keep up with the pothole problems, so i’m doubtful we could repave every street surface in the country while adding hi-tech electromagnetic devices simultaneously.
A few years ago i was watching the extra features on the Minority Report DVD, and they discussed how in pre-production, they’d gathered a thinktank of speculative scientists, engineers and the like to come up with some ideas about what the near-future might look like. Out of those meetings came things like the non-lethal weapons used in the film and also, the more-or-less homogeneous driveless vehicles.
It seems now that we’re on the cusp of driveless cars becoming a reality in a more accessible way than i ever thought. And i know, i know, people love their cars. But it’s not like we’re talking about the Seattle Supertrain here. All i’m saying is that, if i could have a car that took me wherever i wanted to go, while coordinating with all the other vehicles on the road then i’m all for it.