When the power drops, and I need to get across X lanes of traffic to the breakdown lane, I'll be glad to have a mirror.
A driver certainly would want to be encased inside a protective shell if the windshield were replaced with a monitor blocking the view and bringing a whole new meaning to BSOD.
Of course once self-driving cars hit the successive generations/versions, all bets are off.
The Apollo space capsule didn't have a glass windshield up front and the astronauts managed to get all the way to the moon and back without a BSOD killing them. I think I can handle a trip to my local Piggly Wiggly without one.
What about ditching the windshield and replacing it with a 4k HD screen? Then you can embed the driver lower-down and deep inside a protective hardened shell. A no-glass car all around.
Then how about ditching the wheels, and just simulate movement on the 4K screen. You could drive as fast you want in perfect safety.
That's more or less what I already do with Amazon. I have ditched the car altogether for most shopping trips and replaced it with a virtual shopping center that has almost everything I need right there on my 24" computer monitor.
Does anyone get the impression that our civilization is doomed? Short of finding a way of making practical nuclear fusion reactors work, something that has been always "30 years from now" since the time I was in middle school forty years ago, there seems to be no solution to our future energy needs that don't do evil things to our planet's climate that eventually will doom our civilization.
You are 100% correct no matter what the source of energy. The course we are on is unsustainable at our current rate of energy consumption. Tom Murphy's excellent essay "Galactic-Scale Energy" made the case rather well (and it deserves its own Slashdot entry if it hasn't already had one -- I'm too lazy too look it up). About 1400 years from now (which is less time into the future than we are from the fall of the Roman Empire) we will be using more energy than is currently produced by the entirety of the sun if we don't back off on the growth of our energy consumption, which is showing no signs of easing up. It doesn't matter if the source of the energy is fossil fuels, nuclear fusion, or some future magic, the earth cannot host that amount of energy consumption. The planet will have reached its thermodynamic limit long before then.
So don't use your high-beams, just quickly turn the low beams on and off.
Then they would ticket you for driving at night without use of any forward beams at all.
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