I was thinking about yesterday's post, and wanted to envision a future with technologies we will soon possess, where we would never have to leave a building.
First off, imagine cars that drive themselves, like a future version of this article.
Now imagine that all cars are on a transportation system where there is no asphalt, only tracks to support magnetic levitation.
Then we can redesign cars to look less like cars, and more like mobile rooms. (Sort of how trains and subways are boxes stacked end to end.) These rooms could be utilitarian, like a public version for intercity travel, or luxurious, like a private land yacht with swivel chairs, a bar, and a jacuzzi.
Remove the driver, and many different possibilities for the "car space" open up, from office to eating quarters, to even bedroom. Why waste time watching asphalt when you can get a few more minutes of sleep? Maybe these mobile rooms will be modular, and "plug in" directly into your home, your work, even each other, like mini trains.
Do I think this is likely? Not really. By the time this technology is economically reasonable, the car culture we have created will be completely unsustainable. There just won't be enough land to support the number of cars people will need, regardless of their composition.
However, I do think that is the direction cars are headed, where "auto" stands for something different: