With all the talk about electric cars, I think what we’ve forgotten is that they are still just cars and oh-so 20th century.
What I mean is that they are not transformative.
You’re still in a car, traveling around 15-60(+) miles per hour, stopping at stop lights/signs, yielding to other cars and pedestrians, driving over potholes, getting stuck in traffic, and having to fill up on “juice” every few hundred miles.
And with the cost of oil way done (about half from last year), there may be a positive environmental impact, and that’s important, but that’s about it for this invention.
So if you can get over the range anxiety and fear of running out of electric power and not finding a convenient place to plug into, and you don’t mind waiting an hour or so for the fill up, well then you can drive on batteries–and all the power to you.
But like the toy cars and trucks that I played with as a child, they too often ran on batteries, and I’d zoom them around on the kitchen and dining room floor with lights and sirens flashings–now that was exciting.
And yes, a driverless car (like from Google) is a little more of a step forward in terms of really changing how we travel…but then again, maybe it’s like sitting on a bus, metro, cruise ship, or airplane today–read the paper, snooze, listen to music, or watch a video, but you don’t have to do anything to move the vehicle or navigate the terrain.
In a way, cars are pretty much just fancy horses with wheels–whether powered by hay, gas, or electric–they are terrestrial and sort of boring on the ride–even with the windows down and music playing.
In my opinion, it is high time for some travel without the crunched seats, traffic jams, no turn lanes, traffic cameras, expensive tickets, looking for parking spaces, pot holes, flat tires, and all the other nuisances of daily car commuting.
What I like about the picture in this blog though is that it makes me think of a much greater leap when it comes to transportation–whether by transporter, jet pack, pneumatic tubes, or time/space machine–we can get there effortlessly and lippity-snappity quick.
And the car, it can stay in the garage–or find its place in the Museum of History–for all I care. ;-)
(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)