Dead... and Back is a survival horror Role Playing Game. The Anarchy Zones is its official setting - aliens, reanimates, and the ruins of 2055 America.

Monday, January 24, 2011

2050 Cars

Old habits die hard, and even in 2050 you've got the minivan, the sports car, and the reasonably priced foreign made sedan. But the main division of cars has become one of "Touring versus District" - rather akin to the divide between cruising cycles and street bikes amongst motorcycle fans.

Touring vehicles are larger and usually run off fuel cells, ethanol, or some other manufactured petrol replacement. The emphasis is often on comfort since these are the more expensive and rare option. Most seem to be rather tall for a car - as the people within want to have a good view, and are often driving it themselves, rather than using the automatic pilot systems. Its hard to avoid comparing touring vehicles to old 1960's muscle cars - as the low energy density of alternate fuels (compared to gasoline) means that in size and range, the modern car generally matches one from the century proceeding it. Modern materials, digital systems, electromagnetic suspensions tuned on demand mean that acceleration and top end speed are also comparable, while ride comfort is even better. Average cruising range is between 150 and 300 miles (240-480 km).

District Vehicles are designed for short distances and city driving. Many are battery powered bubbles designed to snugly fit four people, or two and some cargo. Although not known for comfort - most commuters still relax, as computer controlled driving means they can watch TV or talk rather than focus on the plastic seats. Usual cruising range is 50-100 miles (80-160 km), but with multiple independent battery banks, they can be charged fairly quickly. Although not an expensive vehicle to own or maintain, many people prefer to rent DVs from various services for a few hours to days at a time as life in an arcology or other planed community means much of the need to own a car is eliminated.

Most vehicles are operated through Automated Traffic Systems - often redundantly referred to as ATS systems. (just like PIN number and ATM machine.) There work by both wireless GPS signals, and a second tracking method embedded in the streets that uses magnetic fields and acts as a back-up in times of interference. Manual over-ride is possible, but usually frowned upon by police and those monitoring the system - as the computers tend to run with fairly little following distance between cars since the computers have faster reaction times and know exactly what everything is doing. Where space is available, there are manual only lanes, since a lot of people like to be in control of their drive, despite the figures showing that computer driving is safer, faster, and less stressful. Driving ages haven't changed, but these systems do mean its common to aloow children the use of a car- provided the manual override is locked out. (This also means its in theory safer for drunk people in cars - but the impaired judgment often ends up with them trying manual anyway.)

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