October 4, 2086
Dear Grandma and Grandpa,
Sorry I haven’t written in ages. I tried to call you guys like six times on 3-D but you always have it turned off. In my history class we’re studying the turn of the millennium. Our final assignment is an analysis of human-driven cars. I’d like to incorporate some ‘real life’ testimony. I wanted to record a live 3-D interview but since you two never answer, I guess we can do written. It’ll be kinda retro.
#1: How did you find the courage?
Given how high the death toll was from road accidents back then, how could you keep your nerves steady enough? I can’t imagine how terrifying it would be to put your life into the hands of strangers on the road. I mean, car accidents were the leading cause of death for people between 15 and 29 years-old.
Our professor said that some people were so afraid of flying that they preferred driving. That sounds too crazy to be true. We laughed and then she got annoyed so we tried to take it seriously. But given the data, I don’t really see how anyone could feel that way.
#2: Were you early-adopters or part of the resistance group?
Our professor said this question might make elderly people (you don’t mind that I call you that, do you?) uncomfortable. She said that it might be hard for old people to admit they were on the ‘wrong’ side of history and fought against social progress. But can you be honest, anyway? Although I may not fess up if you were actual resistors. I mean… the terrorist acts and all that? They actually killed people!
What was their slogan, again? I know she told us… something like ‘defending our right to drive.’ Should have been ‘defending our right to die like morons.’ How dumb. Why did they care so much anyway? All that wasted time, added risk, lost fuel efficiency. It’s not like self-driving cars took away autonomy. No one can track your vehicle. It’s against the law. And I could take the car at 13 rather than 16.
#3: Did you ever get in trouble with traffic police?
She showed us clips of old movies in class that show police officers pulling over cars and chasing cars. Did it actually happen like that or is that just movie exaggeration? Did you have Safety Teams like we do? She said that those weren’t introduced until the 2050s, but it’s hard to imagine a world without them. I remember when I was 14 and my tire blew and I was so scared. Then this super nice lady pulled up with her Safety Team and they fixed in less than ten minutes.
What did traffic police look like? Did they hold that gun-looking thing that measured your speed? Did you get in trouble for going too slow, or just going too fast?
#4: Did you ever get in an accident and hurt yourself or someone else? How did it impact your life?
I read that almost every driver had at least one accident in their life. Carly told us that her grandpa died in a car accident when he was really young and her grandma was left alone with three really small kids. It was so sad. I wanted to cry. Imagine what it would be like to lose someone with no warning at all? Someone so young? Amir’s dad died unexpectedly when we were in high school but he had a brain aneurysm that they didn’t find because he never went to the doctor. He was really young too, only 56 years-old.
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa. I’ll show you how to use 3-D again over winter break.
PS This is due in two days, can you get back to me fast?