Almost like a birthday present (TAE turns 28 today, thanks mom for having me), it is reported in the BBC News that Spain is starting trials of a concept called Road Trains, where basically cars automatically draft each other until one car needs to pull off, at which point it drops out of the train. Cars can join up with the train at will, and should save up to 20% on gas by riding the slipstream of the car in front of them.
This is a step forward, and I like it. You could pull up to the back car in the train, go into "train mode", and then go back to shaving your vagina, or whatever it is you would rather be doing instead of paying attention to traffic. When your exit nears, just leave the train and merge over.
And it's not a big leap forward to imagine that the "lead" vehicle could eventually become a completely autonomous robotic behemoth, blocking wind for a cadre of cars behind it. A city could launch a fleet of such vehicles, in a circuit around the city, and commuters could time their departure from home to meet up with the Road Train, just like they time their departure to meet the subway. They'd pile in behind the automated lead car like ducklings behind their mama!
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