|Pretty much what you see on the highway today|
The automobile of today has changed very little from the automobile of a century ago. Driver in the front left seat. Passenger to his right. A parallel seat behind them. A steering wheel, always circular. Wheels-- always circular, and always four of them. A roof overhead. Pedal controls located on the floor-- accelerator to the right, brakes to the left.
None of this has changed since a century ago. Whether you were driving the Jeffrey Sedan by Nash, or the Hudson Super Six, or even the good old Ford Model T, you were driving essentially the same design, the same structure that folks drive today.
You might point to a variety of features that have changed, like electric ignition, radios, air conditioning, power steering, inflatable tires, changing body styles and designs, engine efficiency, speed, gas mileage, suspension and complete redesign of the power and drive trains. Piffle, I say. Minor cosmetic differences.
Why four wheels? Why not five? Or eight? And why round-- could we not achieve greater efficiencies with oval tires? Why keep the century-old steering wheel design? Why not a computer screen that displays the road ahead and allows the driver to select a path with a mouse or touchscreen interface? And if we have the screen, why would the driver need to face forward-- why not a inward-facing circle of seats, for better conversation among the passengers?
You may say that the current design is still with us precisely because a century of testing and experience tells us that, for instance, round wheels work best. I say, unleash the power of innovation and we will sweep all of that baloney aside. Did I say oval wheels? What about-- square wheels!!
For far too many kids, this year's first day back to school looks and feels a lot like last year's first day back to school. And the year before that. And the generation before that. And the generation before that! - Betsy DeVos