Walt Disney loved to predict what the future would look like, whether it was in the form of city layouts or clever inventions.
It was not uncommon for Disney and his Imagineers, as they were known, to put together short cartoons that showcased their vision. In 1958, they created the cartoon “Disney’s Magic Highway,” which had a lot of interesting predictions about how cars and highways would evolve (first spotted at The Atlantic Cities).
Here are some of their coolest predictions:
Airborne emergency units will combine the services of the police, fire departments, and ambulances. The flying vehicles will quickly airlift injured passengers, put out fires, and remove car wrecks from the road.
Highways will be built by huge machines that use tools such as fast-drying cement and “atomic heat” to build roads quicker than ever. Here’s one tunneling through a mountain:
Self-driving cars with TVs and other amenities will be all the rage:
The cars will separate into parts, thereby allowing different passengers the ability to go to a variety of destinations. Below, a family separates: “father to his office, and mother and son to the shopping center.” Classic 1950s Disney — ladies be shoppin’!
“Radium heat” will keep highway surfaces dry in rain, ice, and snow.
If visibility is low, windshields will transform into a radar screen and display the outline of what’s in front of the car.
There will be lots of cool vehicles, some that go underwater and some that are powered by jets. Coolest of all, there will be “the sun-powered electro-suspension car, which needs no wheels.”
Ultimately, Disney believed highways were the future and would connect people around the world. You can see his full vision below:
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