I’m feeling really good about the neural-enhancement chip I had that guy behind the CVS install in my brain. I just set the switch to PRESCIENCE on the (wired, unfortunately) remote, and it’s already started flooding my cyber-enhanced mind with visions of our automotive future! I’m going to get these down here as fast as I can, because it’s also getting really hard to stay awake and control my legs.
1. 2018 will be the year of the first big push for targeted advertising and entertainment in semi-autonomous vehicles
We’ve already warned you about the upcoming fecalstorm of targeted advertising and “entertainment” that companies want to shove down your eye-throats once fully autonomous cars arrive, but I’m thinking many companies won’t want to wait.
That’s why I’m predicting 2018 will be the year we see attempts to try this for semi-autonomous cars. Companies and #brands and other agents of evil will push the boundaries of what they can get away with—movies shown one frame every two seconds so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road too often while your Autopilot system or whatever sort of half-drives.
Maybe they’ll use the car’s HUD to quickly superimpose ads or movies/television onto the windshield, just briefly—you’ll get the gist, and you’ll still mostly be paying attention, right?
Or maybe when the car detects you’re in traffic or at a stoplight, the seat belt will increase tension, pinning you to the seat, while a sped-up, highly concentrated burst of audio and video content is blasted at you in intense, 10-second bursts, cramming the ads and content into your mushy little brains.
This will be hell.
2. Uber for your own car
This started as a joke, but as I thought about it more, I realized, shit, this could work. Picture this—in situations where parking your car would be expensive or difficult, or both, you can use an app to find people nearby who want to use your car for the amount of time you’ll be doing whatever you’re doing, and then they return it to you when you’re done.
Instead of paying to park, you’re making money with this micro-car-rental whatever deal this is! Sort of limited car-sharing, I guess.
Let’s say you want to see a movie downtown. Parking is hell, so you find someone through the app who’ll pay $20 to get in your car when you get to the theater, use it for two hours, then bring it right back to you as you exit the theater!
Are there security, liability, insurance, and any number of issues with this? Oh hell yeah! Are they worth solving? Maybe? I guess it depends if you can dupe some moneybags into funding this.
3. Tesla and SpaceX will collaborate on orbital storage and delivery of cars
So, you know how Elon Musk has been yanking our chains with the idea that he’s going to launch his old Tesla Roadster into space? Well, in 2018 we’ll find out it wasn’t just some dumb rich-guy joke: it’s part of a test run for a whole new way to manage car inventories and deliveries.
Instead of paying for expensive Earth-based real estate and facilities to store cars and the expense of delivering cars, Tesla and SpaceX will team up to create the Tesla Ring: a ring of orbiting Tesla vehicles kept in low Earth orbit, ready to be deployed to nearly any spot on Earth.
You can buy a Tesla Model 3 online and, two to three hours later, a fireball with your car will go streaking across the sky, using GPS and a sophisticated, steerable ballute to drop your car right in your yard, where the ejected heat shield will almost certainly set your lawn on fire.
Just dig your car out of the impact crater and off you go! I’m told the landing impact will actually help get the panel gaps a little tighter, too.
4. Flying car development will dramatically accelerate, meaning flying cars will now only be perpetually 16 months away
Hot new tech and a renewed interest in flying cars will mean that instead of being perpetually two years away, flying cars announced in 2018 will only be perpetually 16 months away. Hot damn! That’s like eight months less time we’ll have to wait to never get them!
5. New European pedestrian impact standards will require cars to treat people they impact to a compensatory cuddle or perhaps, orgasm
Pedestrian impact rules are making cars safer and safer for people who get run into by them. In addition to hood-based cushioning airbags and higher hood heights to prevent leg injury, the next step will be for cars to have specially-designed articulated manipulators to either cuddle warmly or pleasure, sexually, those who have been hit by the car as a way of distracting them from any pain and as a compensatory gesture.
New voice-recognition technology would be employed to see what manner of mechanical fondling the victim would prefer.
6. The return of little wreaths and crests and shit all over everything
It’s time for some under-appreciated 1970s design to return. 2018’s biggest new design trend will be to slather cars in little heraldic crests, wreathed logos, and ornate filagree over every possible surface, including lighting. Cars are going to get more ungapatchka than your nana’s doily collection.
7. To prevent people driving with just their DRLs on, a new regulation will use light sensors to determine if headlights are needed, and if so will sound the horn continuously until they’re on.
I’m sick of people driving at night with only their DRLs on because it’s really hard to tell when your actual lights are on in modern cars. This’ll solve that. For good.