This post comes from Autoblog Open Road, our contributor network. The author is solely responsible for the content, and any opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Autoblog and its editors.
When debating the feasibility of vehicles depicted in films it's necessary to suspend disbelief regarding the fundamentals of life on Earth...namely physics. Countless movies have featured the flying car that subversively mocks viewers with the deus ex machina of a world free of select physical limitations. It's flippant to suggest such a premise since the viewer is expected to believe society (and the characters) would still be burdened with minor dilemmas while capable of defying natural law. While fictional society has selectively solved physics, it still can't solve petty issues like crime. Films like Blade Runner suggest that it's possible to lift a vehicle into thin air, but impossible to have a crime rate equivalent to Switzerland in the late nineties.
Worse still are the movies where filmmakers modify existing cars with tack-on modifications to insinuate four-wheeled futurist fantasies. This technique is unfortunately very common and is usually due to lower budgets or production designers who lack creativity. To consider this unimaginative would be ignoring the most obvious problem. If the car even exists in a distant future, it should be radically different since there's plenty of room for improvement now. Can this be forgiven as an oversight in otherwise ambitious artistic endeavors? Unfortunately, it can't. In the same way that it's not accurate to have a smartphone in a western; it's not accurate to suggest a future flooded with facsimile designs utilizing bolt-on appendages. Futuristic films are an opportunity to articulate and visualize the potential of humankind not to highlight its vehicular shortcomings.
In spite of the reels of vehicular sins depicted on celluloid, there's one film one that stands out. That particular film is called Minority Report. When Steven Spielberg helmed the production, he took the responsibility to research what leading designers and civil engineers thought could be possible. They predicted autonomous cars with radically different seating arrangements and even foresaw cars scaling buildings and vertical highways. While these concepts are still considered advantageous today, they are within aspirational reach. The movie also featured more conventional cars to help balance the scenario. However, all of the cars were significantly more aesthetically daring than what the public's accustomed to.
Hollywood, it's time to dream a new dream. It can't be a blatantly tangential reality juxtaposed on antiquated belief systems and inadequacies. It should cohesively combine its elements to best convey the story...authentically. Social commentary is an ART that should be above taking shortcuts or suffering from creative blockades.