The days of the car as we know it are numbered

I remember like yesterday the above incident from 2005. I crawled out the side window of a crashed bus while travelling to my teaching job in Namysłów, Poland.

The days when you walk out onto your driveway and get into your own personal car are numbered.

Massive autonomous fleets will replace vehicles as we know them. Mass transit systems full of pod-like vehicles have long been a staple of the imagination since the days of pulp sci-fi.

The end of the automobile as we know it could arrive in 20 years. In its place we will have fully autonomous modules that will connect to the network, moving in perfectly spaced alignment. Quiet, safe and smog-free cities. Think of that. Bliss. Even those annoying road humps will be gone.

Traditional carmakers and dealerships will disappear. There will be no more suave salesman to deal with. No more test drives or finance deals. No more worrying about repairs. Hell, even insurance could drop.

It will be illegal to drive yourself, unless you are rich and have your own private road or racetrack. As well as an expensively licenced personal car with no AI brain onboard.

The ultimate goal is to take deadly humans out of the equation and bring the number of car crashes and road fatalities close to zero.

Those who do still manage to kill someone in an illegal car will get life sentences and be treated like murderers.

The old will proudly tell younger generations of the days when they drove along roads gripping the steering wheel in their own hands, smiling at their smooth, shocked faces.

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