Is This the Future?

When I was about seven I had an Usborne book all about the future. I was captivated by this book and used to spend hours and hours reading it imagining what the future would be like. Funnily enough I found a website where you can actually download the entire book:

I imagined a future of computers which didn’t take hours to programme. One where a game of ‘pong’ would take 5 seconds to load instead of half an hour of beeping. A future where Major Morgan was a bit more sophisticated and my George robot would be easier to programme and actually make cups of tea or something. One thing that never crossed my mind was that the future might involve electric cars. This was mainly because as a child of the eighties I was convinced I’d end up with a flashy red sports car or maybe an Alfa Romeo Spider.

However, things happen and in some ways we are more advanced than the Book of the Future predicted and in some ways far less. I think robotics in particular has moved on faster than predictions. That brings me onto electric cars. I’ll be honest, although I’m really interested in Green Issues the whole electric car thing has passed me by, except for a few mentions on Top Gear where they seemed to fail to go anywhere. So when the hubby came home with one as part of The Big Turn On I really didn’t know what to expect.

Things which surprised me about #NissanLEAF21 (this is the hashtag of the fanclub on Twitter)

  • The fact it was so quiet, easy to get run over and easy to run things over. This might need some re-thinking. Although I suspect the Usborne Book of the Future may have predicted quieter cars.
  • The little reversing camera on the dashboard. Talk about futuristic compared to my Vauxhall Zafira!
  • The brilliant way it tells you the range of the car, this is much more advanced than my car which relies on luck/ gamble because the petrol gauge is a bit knackered.
  • The number of Mummy Bloggers that could fit inside with spare room. You can see video evidence here
  • That you can plug it into a socket at home, an ordinary electric socket! Although you can go to one of the growing number of ‘fast charge points’. Isn’t that remarkable when you think about it- I mean, just as you charge a mobile phone you can charge a car!
  • The fact that I really quite liked it. OK, I loved it. Its perfect for a car to nip around town on school runs and shopping trips. I’m really surprised I haven’t seen more of them about.

The Future 
I haven’t found a book making predictions about the future since the Usborne Book of the Future. I guess these days people aren’t quite so brave. Or maybe I haven’t looked hard enough. However, I’d love to have one for my children. I can still remember the excitement and awe that book inspired within me. But what would be in this book? Well here are a few predictions, based on my entirely random thoughts.

  • Electric Cars with artificial engine noise. Safety First!
  • Even larger fridge/ freezers
  • The creation of artificial land- think Waterworld
  • Travel via space for long-haul flights
  • Robots which do DIY for you
  • Massive iPads to replace flatscreen televisions
  • A move towards a simpler way of life for many people, creating technophiles and technophobes (actually I’ve just described my household there)

I’m going to use our experiences driving around in an electric car to inspire the kids to do some futuristic artwork. I do believe its possible that little Ned is the youngest person to have ever travelled by fully electric car. Maybe I should make him some sort of certificate!

What are your predictions for the future? Did you have that book?

If you want to see all the blog posts relating to the campaign have a look here:

Of course if you want to make Ned one of the first kids to grow up having travelled almost exclusively via electric car you could vote for us here and tweet using the hash tag #NissanLEAFcar21


4 Responses

  1. liveotherwise 24th April 2012 / 12:15 pm

    Does tweeting with the hashtag do anything?

  2. Alex Walsh 24th April 2012 / 12:21 pm

    Interestingly, whilst reading the Wikipedia page, I saw that in most other countries the LEAF does have an artificial noise system. However it had to be removed from the UK due to noise laws that would have seen it illegal to run with the artificial noise system between 11pm and 6am.

  3. sarahffelan 24th April 2012 / 8:25 pm

    Wow I bet that book is full of gems!! There is definitely a writing opportunity there for someone. I find it quite daunting to think about the future – I guess space trips really will happen (imagine getting a letter back from school,'Year 7 will be going to Mars for this year's science trip?') I always remember talking about stuff like this with my dear, departed Grandma and she

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