10 Automobile Predictions That Never Came True

Flying CarThe view of the future and technology is often optimistic and features all sorts of crazy predictions like flying cars and vehicles that need no human input to drive (of course, where’s the fun in that?). Some predictions, such as tiny cars like the Smart Car came true. Many other predictions throughout the years, however, have gotten no further than the drawing board.

1. Flying cars

Drivers of all sorts are still waiting for flying cars. In 1900, periodical “Popular Science” predicted that flying cars would arrive by 2000.


2. Atomic cars

In the 1950s, “Popular Mechanics” predicted that there would be vehicles built to run on atomic power and that stopping at the gas station would be a thing of the past.


3. Automobiles never replace horses

The president of a bank in Michigan once said that cars would never be more popular than horse drawn carriages.


4. All vehicles would be battery powered in the early 1900s

In 1902, inventing genius Thomas Edison thought gasoline powered engines were on the way out, and battery powered vehicles were a sure thing. Perhaps he was just a little ahead of his time…


5. Oil for gasoline would run out in the 1800s

For the past few hundred years, many predictions regarding “running out” of oil have come and passed without the world’s oil performing a disappearing act.


6. Death races

Although Roger Corman’s epic “Death Race” was just a fictional movie, it predicted that vehicle hit-and-run incidents would eventually become a spectator sport.


7. 1909 represented the pinnacle of automobile development

An article in “Scientific American” over a century ago suggested that automobile innovation was at an end.


8. Tiny vehicles become ubiquitous

Thus far, smart cars have limited appeal and the prediction that heavy vehicles would eventually disappear was misguided. The best-selling Ford F-Series (4×4) has a curb weight of almost 5,000 pounds.


9. Commutes will cost a penny

In 1900, an author from “Ladies Home Journal” predicted that most people would commute from the suburbs and that the cost of travel would be a penny.


10. No more cars

Another prediction from that “Ladies Home Journal” article suggested that there wouldn’t be any traffic in 2000 and that street cars would be a thing of the past.

Some of these predictions may yet come true. BMW and Audi are convinced that self-driving cars are only a matter of time and GM has predicted their arrival by 2018. No word yet, however, on those flying cars.