Author : Gary Will Kreie

I love my new self-driving car.

My name is Leo. This is my brand new 2029 crashless car with vehicle-to-vehicle communication and GSDS, the Google Self-Driving System. I love my commute now. My car is pre-programmed to know the best way to get me downtown where I work. I turn on internet talk radio, but it’s airing another rant from an anti-tech kook, who sees networked cars as government intrusion and would blow it all up, if he had a chance. That’s not me. I love this stuff. I push the GO button on the dash. My car backs out of the garage and makes its way into the street. Here we go.

Traffic signal? No problem. My car, I call it Mr. Jeez, exchanges digital messages with the traffic light and slows a little to reach the signal just as it turns green, so we won’t have to stop. Then Mr. Jeez accelerates onto the interstate highway.

Another car with a nice looking woman enters the highway and sends Mr. Jeez a digital message asking if her car can merge into our lane. My car automatically replies with a “Yes” digital message and slows to let her merge in front of us. I have Mr. Jeez’s aggressiveness level set to “not very”.

A car behind me is closing fast. That guy must have his level set to “espresso”. His car wants to get around mine. He must be late for work. I sit back and watch what happens.

His car sends a request to Mr. Jeez to kindly move out of our lane. My car replies with a proposed price, and tells his car that we take BitPal. His car and mine negotiate quickly per my pre-programmed instructions, and now my car is moving to the next lane to let him by. And I am 96 cents richer. As he zooms by, I see that there isn’t even a driver in the car at all. Just a big metal box in back with a glowing counter. And it has a bumper sticker that reads, “That’s all, Folks.” I heard a beep, which I think means my car and this one exchanged one late message. Hmmm.

The rest of the drive on the interstate is becoming routine, so I take a nap and let Mr. Jeez finish my drive downtown. I love Mr. Jeez.


About an hour later.

Where are we? I wake up and my car is stopped. I should be at my building downtown where my car drops me off and then finds itself a parking space. I appear to be parked in the desert beneath a cliff.

The GSDS map shows that we are about 50 miles from the city, which is on the other side of this hill. Why would Mr. Jeez bring me here? I wonder if Mr. Jeez knows something. I wonder if Mr. Jeez monitors me. I wonder if he heard me say I love him. I wonder what other cars tell Mr. Jeez about their owners.

I turn on the radio and hear, “…and they think the robo-car could be headed directly for the center of downtown with a thermo-nucle…”

White everywhere blinds me. I open my eyes and the white starts to dim a little. I realize my car is in the shadow of the cliff, which is shielding us from the flash coming from the direction of downtown.

My car knew something. It drove me here. It protects me from crashes. It protects me from everything.

I watch the shock wave blow past us.

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows