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What Will Cars Do in 80 Years?

mobility2088.jpgCan you imagine the technology of your car in the future? How about 80 years from now? Will your car fly? Will you have a personal jetpack? Here’s one to consider: Take all the bad drivers you curse every day while you pilot your way to work and give them all flying machines. That would make for some fantastic video. And lawsuits, too.
It’s not easy to look into the future. But it takes a good imagination, and true desire to look beyond what sits in the driveway today. And I would bet that every one of you has some of this future-think in your DNA.
Think about your car. What do you like? What would you like to remove from your car and install, say, in your mother-in-law’s car? Or just eliminate, perhaps? Honda has been developing a remarkable documentary series. While it’s true that it’s a sales pitch, it’s also terrific insight into the future of the automobile. Check out their idea about vehicles 88 years from now. (watch video)

My main ride is a 2005 SUV. It’s not large, so let’s call it a midsize. I really like the seats, even now with nearly 120,000 miles on the odometer. It runs smoothly, but it could always be faster. At least it could accelerate faster. But, it’s quiet at highway speeds, has lots of room, and I can transport family, friends, dogs, equipment, and basically whatever I need in it. So, I keep it.
I hate the NAV system. It is beyond stupid. The automatic air conditioner is bi-polar. It’s either blowing hot, or cold, but nothing in between. The center stack is okay, but the look of the speedo and tach are very 2000. Caught in time. Not old fashioned, but not modern, either. So, there are things I would change. Things I want. Things I may need…
But, 80 years from now? Well, that’s perhaps a bit of a reach, but I can see things happening that are amazing. AutoPacific wants to know what you think about your car. We want to know what you want. What would you replace, disown, or repaint? What would make you keep your car for a long time? And, what would prompt you to say, “aha! There’s a new car I would buy right now.” Tell us at VehicleVoice Dot Com.

1 Comment

  • bob| April 22, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    One of the features of new paradigms that people conveniently forget is their incommensurability with the old paradigms. Extrapolative futurism increasingly misses the point during the later phases of paradigms.
    The paradigm that is likely to shift the most significantly in the medium term is a deeper one than any of the past 6 centuries. Not merely a change in the assumptions of science and technology, but a shift in the deeper notions of what reality is, and what a person is within it. Compared with the prior eras, modernity consists largely in a shift of intellectual focus toward empiricism and subjectivism, 2 sides of the same coin, a kind of phenomenological superficiality that treats personal experience as unable to transcend its functional “boundary” at the “surface” of sense experience, while focussing more on the material surface of reality. These trends began in the Renaissance, and have continued unabated, reaching their apotheosis in so-called “post”-modernism. And these superficializations are not just matters of science, technology. and consumerism, but have shaped the prevailing notions about personhood, ethics, and politics.
    At any rate, it was a bit nauseating listening to these technicians wax futuristic, when the larger problems concern the human spirit, and a new paradigm will most likely cast the entirety of science into a new role in human affairs.
    We have evidence of global warming, but have trouble getting a consensus on how to address it, largely because of political polarization. Both sides engage in personally scurrilous behavior, self-righteousness on the side of science, and knuckle-dragging reactionary inflexibility on the side of the side of the caricature of the free market that prevails today.
    The last major paradigm shift introduced the notion that hierarchies were not divinely ordained, but founded in the people. The next one will likely have to do with similar dimensions, and the technology we use to get around will end up being seen in an entirely different light than it is today. perhaps more trivial, and more governed by ethics. The current arrangement of letting science, which is a narrow PRACTICAL inquiry into material reality, dominate ethics (a concern beyond its domain) and pretend to offer something like ultimate knowledge, isn’t working very well. (Ours is the age of genocide, lone-wolf mass murderers, serial killers, and so on.)
    Paradigm shifts are intrinsically unpredictable, and ones like the one we’re due for won’t just change the questions we ask about transportation, it will change the mode of questioning.

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