Electricity may be the driver

When you make an image search for 'driverless car', it is very likely that an 1956 publicity will pop up. The golden age of the personal car was still to come, but already wild dreams were imagined of an ideal future for the common car.

The famous 1956 advertisement by America’s Independent Electric Light And Power Companies that was published in Boys' Life Magazine and US newspapers.

The famous 1956 advertisement by America’s Independent Electric Light And Power Companies that was published in Boys' Life Magazine and US newspapers.

Apart from styling, the prediction was not even far off what we are heading to today. Some minor adaptations can give it an update to the current state of things. No use for a dashboard or a steering wheel, since it is fully automated.  While the original text at the bottom states that the road would provide the necessary 'electronic devices' to control speed and steering, the current trend is that the vehicle itself will become 'smart' rather than its infrastructure. To make the advert even more adapted, the central reservation might have been erased as well. And maybe the emergency lanes and the guardrail too...

Some small adaptations that make the drawing more future proof. Needless to say the father of the pictured reconstituted family is toying with his smartphone (hidden behind the head of his daughter). And physical games are of course part of the new counter-movement against all tablet toys.

Some small adaptations that make the drawing more future proof. Needless to say the father of the pictured reconstituted family is toying with his smartphone (hidden behind the head of his daughter). And physical games are of course part of the new counter-movement against all tablet toys.

(Wouter Haspeslagh)