The Automobile in the Year 2000 (as envisioned in the 1950’s – video)

The Automobile Manufacturers Association produced this short film in (I think) 1956 in order to glorify and to sell automobiles. A history of constant advancement in the safety and comfort of motoring (thanks to the auto manufacturers) culminates in self-driving cars, 3D home theatre systems, and 117 year old senior citizens still motoring (among other noteworthy aspects of the life of our hero.)

According to the description posted on Youtube:

Your Safety First – A John Sutherland toon from the 1950’s shows news headlines about space travel and tax cuts while Dad contemplates buying a new car on Oct. 5, 2000. With a computerized home, a 4 hour work day, and cars that drive themselves! A comic history view of the auto industry’s “remarkable inventions” making cars better and safer. George O’Hanlon was the actor for this film, before he became George Jetson in The Jetsons.

Like many films depicting future visions, it seems this one may have misjudged the timing of its vision. Even so, is this what we have to look forward to in future decades of the 21st century? If yes, what sort of impacts will self-driving cars and seniors motoring well into their 12th decade of life (and potentially beyond) have on the function and shape of our communities? And don’t forget about the impacts of 3D home theatre systems where the salesman steps out of the screen and sits down beside us for the show. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Matty Lang

About Matty Lang

Matty Lang has been interested in land use, transportation, and cities since he fell in love with Paris, France while studying there in 1998-1999. He is a filmmaker living in Minneapolis. He loves film, bicycling, and basketball. Follow him: Vimeo | @MattyLangMSP | Facebook