Are We There Yet?: The American Automobile Past, Present, and Driverless
Publisher: HighBridge Company
Date: March 2020
Duration: 12 hours 39 minutes
In Are We There Yet?, Dan Albert combines historical scholarship with personal narrative to explore how car culture has suffused America's DNA.
Crusades against the automobile are nothing new. Its arrival sparked battles over street space, pitting the masses against the millionaires who terrorized pedestrians. When the masses got cars of their own, they learned to love driving too. During World War II, Washington nationalized Detroit and postwar Americans embraced car and country as if they were one. Then came 1960s environmentalism and the energy crises of the 1970s. Many predicted, even welcomed, the death of the automobile. But many more rose to its defense. They embraced trucker culture and took to Citizen Band radios, demanding enough gas to keep their big boats afloat. Since the 1980s, the car culture has triumphed and we now drive more miles than ever before.
Have we reached the end of the road this time? Fewer young people are learning to drive. Ride hailing is replacing car buying, and with electrification a long and noble tradition of amateur car repair-to say nothing of the visceral sound of gasoline exploding inside a big V8-will come to an end. When a robot takes over the driver's seat, what's to become of us?