Posts Tagged 'Self-drive vehicles'

Blade Runner Syd Mead

From the early animatronic trackways of Disney’s Epcot Center to the proposed transports of Minority Report, speculative traffic systems have sparked the imaginations of futurists and Sci-Fi writers alike. With increasing pressure on reserves of fossil fuel, the threat of global warming and general automotive congestion across the planet, it now seems as if concepts and hypotheticals are more the norm than ever before. Hybrid cars are a familiar sight in Europe and North America, but there remains a swathe of political resistance to the kind of infrastructure needed to make self drive or electric transport a reality. Which, in itself, is all part of an increasing tension between tech and government – succinctly teased apart in David Runciman’s recent Guardian article.

Developments are proceeding at a breakneck pace, no doubt about that. Google are already building their first fleet of self-driving vehicles, the electronic gyroscopics needed to solve mono-wheeled transport are being aced by the likes of Honda and Ryno, and Tesla Motors won’t be content until they’ve made the internal combustion engine a thing of the past.

There are still numerous hurdles to cross – car insurance for self-driving vehicles and the potential loss of individual freedom in a world where police can simply hack your vehicle to a standstill to name but two. There’s also a sizable gulf between proposed transport solutions and the road/air crossing of Syd Mead’s ‘spinner’ above. But there is a definite shift coming in the future landscape of domestic travel. Question is whether you are or aren’t on board with that.

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