I’m enjoying looking at the compilation of Isaac Asimov’s predictions for the 1964 World’s Fair, and here are a couple more.
“[H]ighways … in the more advanced sections of the world will have passed their peak in 2014; there will be increasing emphasis on transportation that makes the least possible contact with the surface. There will be aircraft, of course, but even ground travel will increasingly take to the air a foot or two off the ground.”
“[V]ehicles with ‘Robot-brains’ … can be set for particular destinations … that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver.” —OpenCulture
Obviously, there are in fact more airplanes and helicopters in existence now than there were in 1964. I interpret “passed their peak” to mean that back in the day there were a lot and now they’ve fallen into disuse, such as in the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and Seattle, where highway travel is totally passe, right? And then there’s the whole flying car trick, which never really caught on.
How about that Google automagic self-driving car? Is the top speed like 35 mph? I think that an average human driver with sub-electronic reflexes can easily go well over 100 mph, and some with good reflexes can go 300 mph and more. And of course anyone who’s ever tried to find anything using street view can tell you, don’t rely on the Google car actually getting everywhere you want to go.
UPDATE: Futility of Google Car ARTICLE ON SLATE
Hopeful future predictions are always fun though.