Paris Marx in The Wire:
Silicon Valley has no shortage of big ideas for transportation. In their vision of the future, we’ll hail driverless pods to go short distances – we may even be whisked into a network of underground tunnels that will supposedly get us to our destinations more quickly – and for intercity travel, we’ll switch to pods in vacuum tubes that will shoot us to our destination at 760 miles (1,220 km) per hour.
However, these fantasies of wealthy tech CEOs are just that: fantasies. None of these technologies will come to fruition in the way they promise – if they ever become a reality at all. The truth is that the technologies we need to transform our transportation networks already exist, but Americans have been stuck with a dated, auto-dependent system for so long while being denied the technology of the present – let alone the future – by politicians who are in the pockets of the fossil fuel lobby and addicted to a damaging “free market” ideology that they’ll believe any snake oil salesman — or wealthy entrepreneur – who comes along with a solution.