(Before It's News)
Every now and then I browse the periphery of car world, mainly because cars reflect social and political trends at least as much as the technology under that glossy paintwork. The most interesting trend is control, cars are evolving into agents of political and social control. The days when Scott Fitzgerald could depict car ownership as a surge in personal power have faded into the dreams of petrolhead nostalgia.
An element of vast importance had made its appearance with the summer; suddenly the great thing in Basil’s crowd was to own an automobile. Fun no longer seemed available save at great distances, at suburban lakes or remote country clubs. Walking downtown ceased to be a legitimate pastime. On the contrary, a single block from one youth’s house to another’s must be navigated in a car. Dependent groups formed around owners and they began to wield what was, to Basil at least, a disconcerting power.
F. Scott Fitzgerald – He Thinks He's Wonderful (1928)
Take this piece
on a new car to be produced by Chinese company Geely which owns Volvo. The new car is branded Lynk &Co and among various uninteresting features we are told.
A ‘share my car’ button on the touchscreen gives other drivers the opportunity to rent your vehicle, using a digital key. Visser expects it to be a popular feature. ‘Many traditional car buyers may not like the idea of sharing their car, but that’s changing. Today’s customer wants mobility, not necessarily to own a car.’ Younger people – unexcited by today’s cars – are a key target, adds Visser.
Nothing wrong with that, but it is significant that the option comes built-in. One to watch. Perhaps there is a suggestion behind it that you should share your car. It is your social duty, the caring thing to do. You are a caring person aren't you?