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Roads? Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads!

Written by: Mark Viglione & Natalie Dold

Damn. We still need roads, but what have we accomplished?

Everyone is talking about it. Today is THE DAY! Back to the Future, Part 2 (or BTTFII)  featured today, October 21st, 2015, and at this time we were supposed to be flying around in cars and not driving on a road. We were supposed to have a lot of things like self-adjusting/drying jackets, power laces, accurate weather predictions, robotic gas stations, holographic movies and food hydrators for instant pizza. The reality is that tech didn’t quite get to that point--yet. What would your thoughts be if lawyers were abolished? Talk about disruption!

But, let’s stay on this car and road point. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has been in talks recently with Google to bring the world “driver included” cars to our streets! We may need roads for these puppies, but no drivers needed?! OK, technically they’re stating it’s “self-driving car technology” so this does imply that drivers would be needed potentially for some things. But, wow. That could be a shift in disrupting all kinds of different markets. What would that really mean?  

  1. If these cars can really drive well without a manual driver (I know some people that shouldn’t be driving, like entire states of bad drivers. Ahem, hello New Jersey), then that can mean Police Departments everywhere would have to figure out new ways to drive revenue (no tickets?)
  2. No occifer, I only had one--hiccup! What would that mean for DUIs? Not having to drive means that someone else is in control, and in this case it’s a computer, which means safe driving could be taken to a whole new level.
  3. Getting lost… would that be a thing of the past? Imagine apps not directing you into oceans instead of where you really need to go! 
  4. Emergency vehicles. Those would still need drivers, right?! Driverless emergency vehicles sounds dangerous, even for the most brilliant autopilot type of technology integrated into these new machines.
  5. What about human reaction times? Could a computerized car swerve or slam on the brakes as quickly as human synapses? Maybe computers could even be faster!

There are endless thoughts about how this would really affect the normal goings-on in the world today, but we’re still quite a ways away from knowing the impact driverless cars would have. Even if they launch this tech as the release noted in the next 3-5 years, could anyone even afford it? I mean, if you’re less than a billionaire and less than a millionnaire. The average suburbanite who needs a car to get everywhere? That’s the real question. We would suspect that it probably will not be adopted easily just for that reason alone.

But, crazier things have happened. Alert! We DO have hoverboards, friends! That’s one tech match to BTTFII. Sorta kinda--Lexus created the Slide (see video here). This video or end product as you can see did leave most people asking more questions, but it did take the rider over water, which was an iconic moment for Marty flying from the Clock Tower. Lexus may need to go back to the drawing boards a bit, but the cool factor here is that the tech can only get better now that it has been figured out how to actually make something like that work:

“According to Lexus, its hoverboard relies on superconductors and magnets, which combine to repel the force of gravity and lift an object—like, say, a fancy skateboard and its rider—above the ground.”

#Science; how it never ceases to amaze, right?! Wired Magazine covers the Lexus Hoverboard more here.  Don’t mistake this for the fake Funny or Die promo that was done last year. They’ve taken it down as it apparently pissed off a lot of really hardcore BTTFII fans. If you haven’t seen it, Tony Hawk did an apology video on that, which you can check out here. Oh, #movies. They never cease to amaze as to how so much fake can seem so real. Hey, it happens. Even Christopher Lloyd had to make an apology video as he said he was 100% tricked, too… Well, we know that he wasn’t, but the point is that we should stay tuned in to see what can happen next as to how far the world’s advancements in tech can go. Until that some future time and day (maybe 2045?), we do still need the oh-so-awful roads we have. Damn it, Jim. (Wait, that’s a whole other blog post. Space, the final frontier…)

In the meantime, here are 15 things you should know on BTTF Day:

Oh, and this:

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