Let’s start with this picture:
Here in the year 2013, we can approach this 1950s imagination in numerous ways; I will do so in this manner: Here is a portrait of unbridled post war optimism. The conjurers of this scenario are not concerned about how technology will surmount the realities of physics. No. What we have here is the audacity that technology will find a way and that it will be dressed and designed in appropriate asthetics of the day, like a steering wheel and headlights and plush interior seating, genuine calves leather no doubt. From this view the prosperity of the day allows not one flying saucer but–heavens almighty–two flying saucers in every garage. How…Republican. (Please note that the dog is heavily sedated, as is the mother, probably on Miltown. After all she is flying.)
This beast–I mean, this vision of the future–has no need for wheels or any noticeable connection to a road, track or land-based path because it is obviously off the ground, nose pointed skywards. Optimism, folks! Still, the vehicle more resembles an actual automobile than a flying saucer because–and this is just me supposing–the artist works for one of Detroit’s big three and he is pushing the consumer to see where this particular company plans to take the public. (For my brief treatise on this notion read this blog on a 1940s advertising campaign by the Bohn Corporation.) Frankly, I’ll take the flying saucer. After all, if you’re going to go sci-fi, do it with a sense of style, even if it is retro. Still, would you trust someone behind the “wheel” of a flying car?
Straightline: Hey, did you hear the one about the drunk driver who ran into the Statue of Liberty?
This one they got right. Hop in your car and let it do the driving. Right now the internet is a plethora of videos and articles on these developments, stretching back nearly ten years. There are many ways of carrying out the technology, i.e., the vehicle tracking embedded sensors in the road, onboard computers that literally “read the road” and make adjustments at superhuman speeds.
Not surprisingly, with Google developing a driverless car (come on Facebook, get with it!), the realities of driverless vehicles are taking up the interests of lawyers and their concerns with liability. This I completely understand. When Akhenaten of Canaan first put the horse in front of a chariot, Aehotepre said it couldn’t be done. “Horses are too fast. Can’t control them. The dead will out number the living! We’ll run out of pyramids to put them in!” Oh poor Aehotepre and his lack of vision…
Now this is more like it.