In April 1988, the LA Times Magazine published a cover article predicting what the spring of 2013 would look like for the typical Angeleno family. In a story that is bound to give you disconcerting flashbacks to Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains", a family of four (and their automated house full of whirring robots) goes about a full day — from mandatory staggered work times beginning at 5:15 am, to 11:00 pm, when the lady of the house sits down with her laser disc of The Collected Works of Jackie Collins. (Creepily, the story ends with the house catching fire. I'm not kidding about the Bradbury shout-outs.) Not all the predictions were totally off base, but, as a whole, it's definitely a neat example of how hard it is to look at current technology trends and correctly extrapolate them out to the future.

9 Responses to “Los Angeles is not full of self-driving pod cars (and other disappointments from a 1988 view of 2013)”

  1. Gyrofrog says:

    1988? Hell, what about 1978 — where’s the monorail?

  2. We are only a few years late…Driverless cars will come in 4 steps: * step 0: today’s self parking feature and Google cars * step 1: partially autonomous driverless cars * step 2: everyone can operate a driverless car * step 3: shared driverless cars“How long end drivers are allowed (technically and legally) not to pay attention to road” will be the most interesting thing to watch for the next 5 to 10 years and especially: * environmental conditions allowing it. * the price of the technical features needed. * reliability. http://driverless-cars.blogspot.fr/2013/01/driverless-cars-for-next-decades-in-4.html

  3. YEAH! Exactly. I was like, wait isn’t this a chapter from the Martian Chronicles?

  4. John Napsterista says:

    If the L.A. Times predicted in 1988 that the 25 highest grossing live musical acts of 2012 would include Madonna (#1), Bruce Springsteen (#2), Van Halen (#8), Elton John (#19), Barbara Streisand (#12), Roger Waters (#3), Rod Stewart (#21) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (#15), people would’ve thought that was a lot crazier than driverless cars or robot maids.  Show them pictures of the cool kids at the club of 2013 dressed exactly like it was 1988, and they’d really think you were fucking with them ….

  5. Boundegar says:

    I do not want a self-driving pod car.  The list of things that could go wrong is just too long and deadly.

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