Will your new car be your last?

Will your new car be your last?

It is a sunny day in 2037. An autonomous electric vehicle pitches up to take you to work, complimentary with your skim latte with one. Siri is ageing now but she can still alter your order given you are really trying to reduce your sugar intake.

This routine happens one, maybe two days a week because there is not actually much office style work needed anymore. On the other days you “work” in your service jobs that are really more like recreation activities that ensure you and those you help are not sent insane with boredom.

Monday you are golfing followed by a visit to the hospital to chat with Fred who is old but has cancer and no family to visit him. On the way back you get the car to stop at the lookout on the escarpment because, after all, there is no hurry.

Tuesday you have a virtual meeting with your nerdy mates who still want to design the ultimate solution to world peace by growing enough food. The conversation is recorded, summarised and logged so later you can flag the good bits. The AI has done this a few times already so there will be very little chaff to remove. Turns out that, as usual, the gems were few and far between.

Wednesday your meetup is in the coffee shop. When the car gets to your place it has already collected a couple of your other meetup buddies who live nearby. They have to wait while you put the groceries in the fridge that ordered more milk. Obviously, the supermarket drone sent bacon and cheese too, to max out efficiency.

Thursday you don’t need the car. It’s your quiet day.

Friday comes along and you fancy a swim. The nearest beach is 70 clicks away but the train is so fast that you cover the ground almost instantly. This system of rapid public transport and small autonomous vehicles connected to transport hubs works pretty well now that most journeys are to places of interest and recreation rather than the CBD. Virtual conferencing is now so real that even the big companies that seemed to want to hang on to their boardrooms have realised that the expense of face to face dick waving can’t be justified. Given their workforce is either a robot or working from home the central office is empty anyway.

On the way back from the beach you look into a holiday via the voice-activated screen in the car that has not even looked like it would have an accident in a million years.

All your options from the last time you thought about this flash up along with suggestions from a few thoughts you voiced in the virtual chat you had earlier in the day with your cousin in Turkey. The choice is too overwhelming so you ask for the ‘our choice for you’ option that has been spot on every time so far.

It has been quite a while since you even thought of asking the AI to look for offers on buying a car. It’s not even worth the search. Cars are way too expensive to own and ownership has no additional utility.

Welcome to the new world.

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