Auto Appliances: Are Cars Uncool?

The Atlantic: “Not that long ago, cars were still unequivocal symbols of personal power—especially in America, where basic mobility is often impossible without one. But now cars are increasingly uncool. For one part, they’re a major source of carbon emissions, and thereby a principal cause of global warming. For another part, they’re expensive to own and operate, especially in big cities.”

“Cars once lived among us, their clear-coated steel body moldings and tinted glass windows offering counterpart to human flesh and tailored textile. But soon, they will live on the inside of technology services—as components and subsystems, just as do the microprocessors and batteries and GPS units and accelerometers that drive our smartphones. Automobiles are doomed and destined to become mere parts infrastructures for worldly conveyance. There they won’t even be seen, let alone desired.”

“Even near its end, the automobile still has its wits about it. The memory of speed and power and control persists, for a moment anyway, just before it turns into yet another borrowed appliance, to be used and also forgotten.”

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