My Car Quest

January 20, 2019

Twilight Zone of the Automobile

Submitted for your perusal: Two Scenes of Tomorrow

Text and images by Richard Bartholomew –

Scene one

Autos are all self driven, all completely safe, the mandate of the year 20xx made all ‘antique’ cars illegal. Most cars have become autonomous anyway now they are ALL that way, they all talk to each other and the new laws allowed the ‘new car lanes’ to be combined with all the other roads that had been left to old fashioned car.

A runabout that can still race (mirrors are the tipoff) huge passenger cabin denotes the new wave car style.

A runabout that can still race (mirrors are the tipoff) huge passenger cabin denotes the new wave car style.

Most think it is better this way and the insurance companies sure do. No more accidents.

People can get in their cars take a nap and wake up at Grandmas house for the holidays. Or on the way to work read a book on their phones or pads (just kidding nobody reads books anymore) or sightsee anywhere and BOTH front passengers can see the sights. One of them doesn’t have to worry about being distracted anymore.

Small and super light ready for the future. ‘’Attach the wing truss and scram jet, Alfred.’’

Small and super light ready for the future. ‘’Attach the wing truss and scram jet, Alfred.’’

The cars can be built thin like aircraft. What was once engine compartment space can now be used for human cargo. The extreme future is being driven in your small car to the aerodrome and connecting to the flying drone mother ship heading for downtown or the one going across the country.

The first three illustrations represent these type of cars. They have larger passenger cabins and doors, no wipers and no mirrors, they aren’t needed. What might look like an engine compartment might be a luggage compartment instead. They all ride on battery packs with small super efficient motors as axles. The old car designing ‘package’ has been turned upside down not just no longer needing grills for radiators.

I have seen actual car designs studies that included future seats that turn into couches or beds so I imagine that putting your car in ‘granny mode’ and not wearing a seatbelt for a slow trip around town while drinking tea is not that far fetched.

Slow lane drivers in the future would not be harassed or tailgated, horns will be obsolete. Cars that talk to each other just drive around each other. An end to road rage. It could be robotic courtesy’s shining hour. I believe the robot has already won the ‘Time man of the year award’ at least once. Maybe it’s time for more honors.

Family hauler, limo, wrap around couch and big screen in back.

Family hauler, limo, wrap around couch and big screen in back.

Yes it may sound boring but if you need to race you go to the local 3D inversion/immersion store and buy the Grand Prix download. If you like driving you can plug into the ‘AP’ on your phone, put on the helmet and get your driving experience.

Wide seats, large cabin, no mirrors, ‘’Wake me when we get to Phoenix please.’’

Wide seats, large cabin, no mirrors, ‘’Wake me when we get to Phoenix please.’’

Cars will have become a cross between pure utilitarian conveyances and life sized carnival kiddy tea cup rides. Perhaps they connect together and become a centipede video game meandering downtown and back for the daily commutes back and forth so the air and streets don’t become huge unsightly swarms during those hours of heavy commuting.

This SUV like car might also come in large size with a sliding mini van type door and a hard top.

This SUV like car might also come in large size with a sliding mini van type door and a hard top.

No more accidents, no more injuries and deaths from stupidity on the roads. If your car says it isn’t safe to go on it won’t. The ultimate form following it’s function.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

Scene two

Cars are smart and all that but in this day and age of 3D printing and home forges you can’t expect people not to do a little modification. And when Hank sees Joe’s cool shiny wing he wants fins too and then the car makers see what’s going on and they want a piece of that action and we are back where we started BUT with a huge difference the underpinnings of all the cars are still smart and light and when they aren’t attached to the flying truss contraption at the afore mentioned aerodrome they don’t have to be sleek. So the second group of three cars shown are based on classics that you could drive, or be seen being driven in (if it’s allowed by law.)

Big boulevard cruiser

Big boulevard cruiser

Imagination is back, car design is back and possibilities are endless. At low speeds for around town it wouldn’t make that much difference to have the old body styles back as long as they still talk to the other cars on the roads.

If you want a two seat Continental you can have a two seat continental. The front and back appendages could BOTH be used for luggage if the power train was new age.

If you want a two seat Continental you can have a two seat continental. The front and back appendages could BOTH be used for luggage if the power train was new age.

And perhaps they let you take any of these future cars to a track switch them back to full human driver mode and see who can get around the pylons the fastest but you would have to have all the heavy safety gear installed again if that is even possible.

Muscle car inspired but all robot

Muscle car inspired but all robot

Imagine being able to own and drive any new old classic and be able to switch it to autonomous mode plus it has only the good smells and none of the emissions of old cars. Heaven or Hell or just the Zone?

A Bentley electric cruiser, more spacious cabin but it still has the mirrors and drivers wheel (if ordered).

A Bentley electric cruiser, more spacious cabin but it still has the mirrors and drivers wheel (if ordered).

New Age Porsche with a fake bumper just for the looks.

New Age Porsche with a fake bumper just for the looks.

The future may not be like this but two things are certain: it is coming and it’s fun to think about .

THE AUTHOR: Richard Bartholomew is an artist, photographer and now futurist based in Southern California. He is open to interesting consignments and can be reached at zeroagenow@aol.com

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

 

 

 

Summary
Twilight Zone of the Automobile
Article Name
Twilight Zone of the Automobile
Description
No more accidents, no more injuries and deaths from stupidity on the roads. If your car says it isn’t safe to go on it won't. The ultimate form following it's function.
Author

Comments

  1. What do you mean when you write that in year 20XX all antique cars will be illegal ? Some new regulation coming up?

  2. Richard Bartholomew says:

    Alex, it means it will happen before 2099. the X’s are like ?s. No new regs yet but we are moving towards this in my humble opinion.

  3. imwitfstoopid says:

    I already HATE all of this and brain-frying 5g.
    I also want Red Skelton and his comrades back.
    And I’m not a Luddite.
    I love my cars and you will have to pry my cold deads from the manual steering wheel and 6 spd shift knob.
    So there.

  4. Lobby groups such as SEMA & the (NAACC) National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada Corp will work very hard to insure a structure is put in place to use gasoline powered collector vehicles.
    As an example in Canada in 1997 the Federal Government introduced Bill 241 which would remove all pre 1978 and older vehicles from the public highways. One year later 80,000 hand written letters and $80,000 dollars worth of lobbying made that legislation disappear. SEMA in the USA is the Power House with huge pockets to lobby the US Government. Along with serious car clubs like AACA, CCCA, Early Ford V8 Club, Model A Ford Club of America and literately dozens more there will be a huge outcry from collectors across North America. The hobby represents billions of dollars to the government in taxes.
    Its the green movement that needs to be enlightened and kept in check when it comes to collector cars. Existing clubs need to establish committees right now to monitor State and Federal Governments for vehicle restrictions. This was done in Canada in 1975 and continues as I write this. The topic is as exciting as watching grass grow but needs serious monitoring and attention every month in my view.
    John Carlson, National President/ CEO—NAACC

    • Rrichard Bartholomew says:

      John, what if we let you drive them on Sundays only? Sunday can be car accident day. Eventually new cars will be so advanced maybe most people won’t want old self drivers. I like to drive but saving over 100,000 lives a year seems like a good goal to have.

      • wallace wyss says:

        I don’t want to bring politics into this but this is bleeding heart liberalism at its worst. The article author seems to think that going big on autonomous cars will be waving a magic wand and all accidents will vanish. I guess he didn’t see the accident in Arizona where there’s even a “safety driver” at the wheel yet the autonomous Volvo runs over a lady, the first person murdered by an autonomous car. The problem is interfacing the autonomous cars with the non-autonomous cars already here. You can have autonomous cars that will pirouette on a penny but if a ’65 Chevy, non autonomous, plows into it, what good does it do that you took all the safety gear (air bags, seat belts, safety bumpers) away from the autonomous car? I like the SEMA and NAACC approach, because the actual percentage of pre-2018 cars will shrink year by year and the collector cars are rarely driven, maybe 50 miles a week, so why persecute those drivers who have worked long and hard to restore their cars? Another thing to worry about is the State, in wanting to promote autonomous cars, might grab lanes already existing, dubbing them autonomous car lanes only, creating in effect new High Occupancy Lanes out of roads already paid for by the taxpayers, and then charging a special fee to use those lanes. These autonomous car people are the enemy of car collectors, make no mistake about it.

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