New York | 2007
We’re told the automobile is now an extension of the living room: it offers climate-control, reclining seats, surround-sound, phone and internet capability. The moving chamber also has places to store drinks, and hang coats. And there’s mood lighting.
Isn’t it really the other way around? Hasn’t the living room become, inexorably, an extension of the automobile?
Furniture is positioned to enhance viewing of the flat-screen monitor a component akin to an automotive windshield or windscreen.
Remote devices steer sound and image to propel the passive journey into entertainment. Conversation has become quaint.
Our interaction inside the automobile is radically changing too. The vehicle now takes responsibility for many tasks: electronic devices navigate, help us park, control distance between cars, project how far the fuel goes, select songs, dial numbers – relieving our brains of the revitalizing business of memory and measurement. With that freedom, our minds can now wander.
Where do they wander?
Cars are divided into just two categories: those you drive and those that drive you. The latter require very little input, and are often forgiving. The ones you drive, known as drivers’ cars, coax and prod, as if to say, “Just one more hill before home, please.”
Text: Mark Ginsburg