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Back in 1960, the sky was the limit in terms of technology and industrial growth. 60 years earlier, only the rich had cars and telephones, and television was a pipe-dream. By 1960, however, every family had a car and a television, nuclear power had been invented, and jet airplanes transported people around the globe. The rush of growth led to futurists coming up with wild fantasies of the world to come, and we've found a real classic in the YouTube vault. After the jump is a nine minute cartoon from 1960 that details the future of transportation, from self-driving cars and flying ambulances to highways that are constructed in a day or two.

In some ways, the futuristic video was right on. It shows families driving in what is basically a glass-domed minivan that features children watching TV while dad gets up-to-the-second navigation updates via a punch-card system and a synchronized scanning map. Of course the car drove itself, too, but that technology is also well on its way. The video short mentioned solar power, but the vehicle that relied on the sun for motivation had no wheels and used an electro-glide for movement. Oddly enough, solar power came after atomic propulsion. And even though computers had been around since the 1940s, no mention of the technology was described during the video. Hit the jump to check oit, it's well worth a close look.

[Source: Chuck.Goolsbee.org]



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  • 33 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      that should have replied to "TwinTurbo3000GT". Targeted reply doesn't seem to like Safari browsers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The DoT had just set aside the trillion dollar budget to do exactly this in 1999, then in 2001 the DoD appropriated the funds to beat the sand out of a few desert nations....

      I miss the future too. I miss the hope and imagination that used to be there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not so much "ignorant" as "focused on the VERY immediate past". Unemployment dropped from ~5.6% in 2004 to ~4.4% at end of 2006. Then from 2007 on it has risen to 4.9% today.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does anyone else think that this video was the idea behind The Jetsons?
        • 7 Years Ago
        lol, that's what I was thinking the whole time. The moving sidewalks and the glass-domed cars were put directly into the jetsons.

        And sign me up for some solar-powered electro-suspension car-age.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Stratojet - the economy is hardly "devastated". The GDP says otherwise. Unless you live in Michigan because its a one state recession with an ineffective Governor. The rest of the country is still doing well.

      I am still waiting for the day my car can drive itself.

      • 7 Years Ago
      I like the family vacation. The car climbs mounts, crosses lakes, passes by all manner of wonders, and what are the kids doing throughout?

      Watching television. Yeah. Nothing beats a little quality TV time.
      • 7 Years Ago

      I'd like to know who produced this. Perhaps, GM, Ford, or the construction industry?

      Eisenhower signed the fabled Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. So this film might be a follow-on by the transportation industry to drum up citizen support.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hey you beat me to it. Yeah I remembered it from Rocket Rods as well. I'm glad I was never trained to work that attraction when it was open. It was always broken...
      • 7 Years Ago
      In reply to the lit road:

      I think the "electronic eyes" were what we now know as a photocell. They probably didn't have those back then.

      And by illumination, I don't think they were referring to lights per se. I think they meant electroluminescence like many car gauges have that would actually light the road's surface.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jane, stop this crazy thing!
      • 7 Years Ago
      In the youtube description, it says that it was produced by disney.
      • 7 Years Ago
      We have all these dystopian movies out, but compared to the Utopian movie above....our reality is dystopian!

      I love how the super-wide, super-fast freeways only have about 100 motorists total. Hardly anyone using the super freeways in the video.

      On a side note, often these Utopian future-minded videos (even current ones) don't face practicality. Do we actually need some of these things, or do they actually make a difference? Like Minority Reports way of transferring the video/imagery/data from one giant clear monitor/wall to another by swiping it onto a portable glass unit, then plugging it into another glass wall/monitor. Don't they have WiFi in the future? Am I missing something?
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