Flying car

Columnist Grant Tetmeyer explains how our technology, from flying cars to Roombas, is increasingly resembling the iconic cartoon world of the Jetsons — in every way. 

Editor's Note: The following column is a satire piece.

We are officially on track to resemble what the 1962 creative team at Hanna-Barbera Studio showed us what a hundred years in the future would look like. The project was called the Jetsons, and it was the studio's examination of what the perceived future would be like. It was set 100 years in the future and was full of flying cars, food by a button, high-rise buildings, robots and a number of other fun and whimsical pieces of technology that were deemed impossible. But it may not be that impossible anymore. 

The AirCar Prototype 1 completed a 35-minute flight between two nearby cities in Slovakia. But there is something new about this car that sets it apart from other flying Jetson prototypes. After completing its test flight, the prototype pulled in its wings and spoiler and turned into a driveable, road-legal car in just three minutes. So not only do we have the flying car of the future, but it also folds up to be a smaller, more compact version of itself. It’s not the briefcase technology shown in the 1962 prediction, but with 41 years left before we find out if the prediction was right, I don’t see why we can’t prove it.  

We already have a number of the individual inventions predicted by this animated sitcom family already, and it’s only a matter of time until they become normal in everyday life. We have video chat, house care robots (i.e. Rumba), smart watches, holograms, drones and widescreen TVs. And with commercial space flights and more intensive exploration of Mars, we may be a dystopian paradise in the cloud before we know it.  

This may seem far-fetched, but this isn’t the first time TV has predicted life. I would turn your attention to the Simpsons and the many, many predictions the iconic show had that became historically true. From the Siegfried and Roy incident to Trump’s presidency to killer bees, the Simpsons have shown time and time again that the cartoon phenomenon has the ability to predict the future. It's no surprise that the Jetsons may have been able to harness the same clairvoyant powers.  

Of course, it also predicts that human society has ascended into the clouds, predicting the complete depletion of natural resources and the need to go up to survive because we could no longer go across and live. But that isn’t the important thing to focus on. After the flight, the company responsible released a statement saying, “We were really getting sick of long drive times, but we still really like driving. So we just decided to put wings on a car and it worked. But the wings kept going into the other lanes, so we just made it foldable. Kinda just happened.” As all great innovations come into this world. 

The company also stated that they are looking into dehydrated pill steaks as well as personal jetpacks and moon boots that actually make you weightless. “With American obesity going up because of fake restaurants like Subway, we figure Americans would enjoy the extra support.” I guess the only thing left to ask is, when are you getting your jetpack?

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