My Car Quest

April 19, 2024

All the World’s a Stage

by Wallace Wyss –

One of my favorite lines from an auto writer is when Ron Wakefield once wrote in Road & Track “I have seen the future and it’s no longer such a long way off.”

I recently wrote about Ford planning to offer as an option the ability to generate artificial noises on cars as a sales gimmick, particularly in the 2024 Mustang. Now I read Mercedes will have similar options for cars to make attractive sounds. But are you ready for visual shape shifters? It is already speculated that the US has a jet fighter or stealth aircraft that can go invisible–seemingly disappearing before your very eyes (maybe called the DarkStar). Not so difficult as it seems because the surface is rumored to be coated with tiny, I don’t know what you would call them, screens and, at the touch of a button the bottom of the craft can present a co-ordinated televised picture of what’s on the other side of the craft, i.e., empty sky. Call it a “cloaking device.”


Darkstar – or a Hollywood prop?

Even if the pursuing aircraft’s radar shows, yes, indeed, there is an aircraft ahead of you, but its going invisible will give the pursuer a moment of pause because, as when the US was pursuing Chinese spy balloons we, the taxpayers, found out the missiles we shot at them cost $400,000 each (only to find some of the “spy balloons” were in fact, genuine harmless and comparatively worthless weather balloons). You don’t want to fire off too many until you know what the target is. Or isn’t.

A little hint of how it’s evolving is the 2024 Cadillac Lyric which the grille puts on a veritable light show when you, the owner, approach it at night and press the unlock button. What I am predicting is an option where the whole car’s body could project an image cloaking the car so as to look like something else.

Think of the problem cops will have chasing speeders: “I was chasing a red Lamborghini and damn, it disappeared–suddenly the only thing ahead of me was an old VW.”

In aircraft, this technology is the first step toward invisibility. Next will be a way to make something look like something it isn’t. Already in personals ads there are millions of examples of pictures posted by people who wish they looked sexier who, before posting their picture, pressed a series of buttons and instantaneously their hair or teeth or skin looked better than it does in real life. Or maybe the chubbiness disappeared. So maybe in a couple years from now, that guy arriving at a nightclub in a VW can press a button and look like he’s arriving in a Lamborghini.

I think the current worries about AI becoming predominant are justified because us humans, us Cro-Magnon oafs, aren’t quite astute enough to know when we’re being fooled, and make no mistake about it, with AI, all the world’s a stage.

The stage will simply be decorated to obtain the desired effect…you betcha…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss once was a publicist for a Detroit laboratory doing research into future automotive technology.


DarkStar AI invisible airplane - created by DALL·E

“DarkStar AI invisible airplane” – created by DALL·E (OpenAI) with assistance from Mike Gulett

All the World's a Stage
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All the World's a Stage
Ron Wakefield once wrote in Road & Track "I have seen the future and it's no longer such a long way off."

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