When did cars get priority over people?

Yes cars, or transportation, has allowed us to move, expand, learn, and even conquer. But have we forgotten who the masters are in all of this?

Cars are machines we created to serve us. To serve us! But somewhere along the way they took over.

Our cities are designed around vehicle accessibility. Our roads divide and segregate our land. Just look at a map, or a satellite image and you will see our “blocks” of land surrounded by roads, acting like containment lines.

On the ground is where we feel it most. At every turn we are confronted by a street of some form, but instead of having the right of way, we are reduced to second class members of our own society. Second class to our own machines. Is this a sign of what we will, or already have, become?┬áslaves to our machines? (I smell another topic here). We actually need to ask permission to cross these boundaries. We push the button and wait. Wait for permission. “Please o’powerful road, may I cross you to reach thou shop of plentiful?”. If we choose to cross before given that permission we risk serious injury and even death. Death!┬áThe roads belong to the machines.

At present we still drive our own cars ie. we still command our own machines (though Google will be changing that very soon). But as soon as we get into our cars we become the machine. No longer are we just a human moving about the land, no, now we are part of the machine. A cyborg of the simplest kind. And with that transformation comes the elevated position, higher than the mere pedestrian. Now we have the power, and non-machine people better watch out!

We need cars, no doubt about that, but we need to remember who they serve. They serve us humans. Which means humans need to be at the center of everything we do. (if you are interested in designing for humans, look up ‘human centered design’) I’m not saying get rid of all the cars, or get rid of all the roads, that’s nonsense. Cars are just an example. I’m merely raising awareness to the fact that we have forgotten who this world is for, and who should have priority.

Rethink everything you do. Is it human centered?


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