I hate driving.
I tend to have this thought a lot when I’m going about the day. When I think about it, I drive a lot.
Like… A LOT.
I carpool with my fiancé, Sam, almost everywhere to save gas. I take her to school, I pick her up from school, then I take myself to school. I live in Northern Colorado, and the place where I work is further South, so I commute forty-five minutes to my job. All of my family and many of my friends are down South, and we visit them frequently, so we drive down to our hometown a lot, which is another hour and another hour back. When I’m forced to think about it, I spend a solid portion of my day in transit; driving myself or someone else to things.
Spending so much time in a car, it makes a great place to loath the act of driving (my eighteen year old self would be appalled). Now that I’m twenty-five, it’s just boring. Like the title of the blog, I daydream a lot. A car, a place where you just sit for long periods of time looking at the road, engenders some of these thoughts. I tend to call this a DUI, or Driving Under Imagination. In cars, I’ve come up with ideas for video games, original characters, books and short stories. I’ve also collected a fair amount of speeding tickets for not paying attention and wrecked a car. Ever since the accident, I’ve never really trusted my self driving; my mind wanders too much.
So ironically (if I’m using the word correctly), it was while driving that I realized what the future may look like for transit. No more of this having to pay attention and know where you’re going BS. Your little room on wheels will already know where you’re going with GPS. Just slap that touch screen until it shows the place you want and hit “Go” and you’re off to the races. No more console or wheel in your face, you won’t need to drive it. No pedals or any kind of manual control, only a computer separating you from your destination and almost certain death. But the AI is smarter than you could ever be, so it can make decisions with the other smart cars on the road and decide speeds and lane changes. No more speed limits, only speed caps, and since the computers are driving, the speeds can be raised drastically since an AI will make less mistakes. No more daily accidents or people wrapped around telephone poles. You’re dumbass will be totally chill riding along, sitting at a table in your car, watching Netflix or something else to pass the time while you wait to arrive at your destination.
And you’ll be old and riding along to the zoo with your grandkids, thinking about how far you’ve come since back then, and you’ll say to them in the way only old people can, “Ya know, we used to have to drive our own cars, back in the day.” And your grandkids will stare at you with wide, horrified eyes at the thought of having to drive yourself anywhere. You’ll laugh and say, “Oh yea, there was a wheel that you had to steer, and some pedals to stop and the other to make you go.”
“How fast did you go grandparent of whatever gender?”
“Oh seventy-five to eighty on some roads. Sometimes faster if you had the right kind of car. But back then, there were signs that told you how fast you could go on a road, and there would be police waiting on the side of the road in their own cars. If they saw you going too fast, they would chase you down and make you okay a fine for going too fast.” And they would look up at you with incredulous eyes and you would smile.
“Yea, a lot of things were different before the Martian invasion.”
Ya know, because it’s the future.