One of the biggest disappointments when it comes to technology in the 21st Century has got to be cars. Science fiction promised us that by now we would be driving around in flying cars that ran on miracle energy sources, and yet here we are still grounded and forced to make do with petrol for the most part.
So we didn’t get the flying cars, but that’s not all. Our cars don’t drive themselves (other than the ones at Google), they don’t turn into Robots, they don’t talk to us (well, GPS does a little…). In fact compared to things like computers, cars have changed a very disappointingly small amount since they were first introduced. How lame…
Just to remind us then of the kind of high tech supercars we should be driving by now, let’s take a look at some of the coolest vehicles in science fiction across all forms of media.
Okay so no one expected this to be a reality by now (which goes for most items on the list), but the Tardis is still one of the most iconic vehicles in science fiction. This of course is Dr Who’s time machine, which is famously ‘bigger on the inside’. Not only does it allow the Doctor to visit any time and place, but it also changes shape and apparently at once point housed multiple swimming pools.
The Bat Mobile:
When it comes to high-tech cars, the Bat Mobile is one of the very most iconic and alluring ideas in fiction. The Bat Mobile changes with almost every iteration, but in almost every case it features things like bullet-proof glass, a ‘boost mode’ of some sort, and weapons. Perhaps the most realistic incarnation was the version used in the Nolan Batman films, in which the Batmobile was a huge armored vehicle that could eject a smaller ‘Bat Pod’ for Batman to ride like a motorcycle.
The Nautilius is the submarine that Nemo captains in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. While the Nautilius was actually based on a real submarine of the same name, what made Verne’s creation so high tech as the fact that Nemo could live permanently under water using it. The crew would gather and farm food from the sea, aided by on-board tech that could for instance turn sea water into drinking water.
So iconic was Bond’s car in Goldfinger that it practically created the Aston Martin brand. This is a classic car fitting for the era to all appearances, but inside it features a number of nifty improvements including an ejector seat and a number plate that could rotate in order to throw off pursuers. This was before things got a little silly with Die Another Day‘s ‘invisible’ car.
The coolest high-tech vehicles in a computer game should probably go to the Halo series which let you command a number of alien crafts. Perhaps the coolest was the Ghost which used some kind of plasma for propulsion, hovered across the ground, could fall from nearly any height and was capable of strafing.
Optimus Prime is pretty much as high-tech as vehicles come. His claim to fame is being able to transform from a 16 Wheeler Truck into a giant, sentient robot. Optimus Prime was every little kid’s dream ‘best mate’ and also happened to kick major butt when vanquishing evil…
So maybe none of our cars are even half as exciting as the high-tech vehicles we were promised/teased in the fiction… But nevertheless it’s still very possible to create a cool car if you want to get a little creative and to take inspiration from these sources. are a little like having your own bat-pod, electric cars are a little like plasma-driven ghosts and the best GPS systems can give your car personality… It’s just a matter of getting a bit creative and turning your vehicle in the future-machine you want it to be.
Still, we’re a little way off from a car that looks or behaves at all like Optimus Prime… and that’s probably a good thing!
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