After a century and a quarter of gestation, the car has finally cracked it. Yes, there are things to be a bit gloomy about if you’re utterly committed to driving a really noisy, smelly vehicle as fast as you darned well like. But in the normal world, the car has finally won out.

Every obstacle and every complaint made about it is set to be removed or overcome, and the machine that changed the world is about to morph into something the world finally accepts. 

I don’t think you’d find many people who deny that cars have brought untold freedoms but, as they’ve said at considerable length over the years, cars are dirty, noisy, dangerous and elitist. In their ways, all true, but because cars have let us go where we wanted, when we wanted, we’ve put up with it. Every single one of us has used the car. 

And soon we’ll be able to do it with less guilt: in future, your cars will make no sound and emit no gases or particles and their energy will (should/can) be produced renewably. Sensors and limiters will avoid accidents and prevent antisocial use. And although cars have been cheaper than public transport for years in most places, they’ll get cheaper still, and as they become more readily shared, reducing their footprint in towns, they’ll become even more democratic and less invasive.