Monday, October 6, 2014


Many different concepts have been used in science fiction films and some may come to reality and some may not. Taking a look at some of the cars and films they were on we examine the possibilities.

You don’t see much of the Audi Quattro Fleet Shuttle in Ender’s Game, but there is one obvious problem. The long wheelbase—9.5 feet long and built from an Audi A7—is unrealistic. In urban areas cars like the Toyota Prius fit easier into parking spaces. More importantly, smaller cars work much better for autonomous control—the sensors can monitor a smaller object as it drives through town, stay centered in the lane, and dodge slower vehicles in the road. Plus, someday we’ll print the 3D parts for cars in our garage. If you're paying by the ounce, why get anything bigger than a Smart car? 

Audi RSQ, When Will Smith decides to take a nap in his autonomous Audi RSQ, there’s no steering wheel present. Later, when he takes control, it emerges out of the dashboard. And the filmmakers didn’t envision a future where the highways look completely different from the ones we use today. Those are the good parts. 

Yet there are still a few problems with I, Robot and the car industry. For one, a robot manages to break the windshield. Future cars probably will use an indestructible material such as polycarbonate. A more glaring mistake: Smith says he owns the car. In the future, cars might be operated by the city and owned by a fleet management service. Your employer would provide the car, pay for the insurance—and dictate when you get to work. Or, you might pay an hourly fare to rent some wheels. However it works, owning things is so 20th century. Lexus 2054

In one of the movie’s pivotal scenes, Tom Cruise finally decides to "run" from the authorities and sets off an exciting car chase. Minority Report gets a lot of things right about the future, including the cars—they’re sleek, and the movie nailed the driverless car angle. But for all the kinetic excitement, you can forget about cars driving along the sides of buildings or on bridges above the old highways. For starters, a major change in road infrastructure would cost billions. If anything, future cars will have to work alongside "classic" cars. Even attempts to build special lanes for driverless cars could require massive government programs. And you know how Americans feel about taxes. 

Johnny Cab:
If the driverless car future looks anything like Total Recall, we’re all in trouble. First of all, it’s not necessary to have a humanoid robot sitting in the driver’s seat when the car could just drive itself (he never moves his arms anyway), but if that makes humans feel a bit more comfortable during the transition to driverless cars, then so be it. What’s really wrong with this dystopian picture is when the disgruntled bot turns homicidal and tries to run over Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not only will cities enact laws requiring vehicle overrides in autonomous cars, but the programming routines will include multiple fail-safes. As much fun as it is to imagine the machines becoming self-aware and trying to kill us, it ain’t gonna happen (at least not like this).

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