What If Cars Never Existed?

cars really don’t need an introduction they’re relatively cheap modes of transportation he’s an operate unless you’re Becky god you’re terrible at driving Becky and everywhere and I mean everywhere and last century man has been able to throw our horses into the glue factory and if made the automobile the primary mode of transportation it’s made great distances far shorter and made the world seem a bit smaller even before the Internet it’s one of the inventions which without our modern world probably wouldn’t exist speaking of which say cars don’t exist what if in an alternate timeline cars are just never invented before I can talk about such a scenario here’s some context by the Industrial Revolution the newfangled steam power technology was all the rage and people wanted to find new and interesting ways to use it by the mid 19th century steam vehicles already existed by the 1890s prototypes for personal carriages powered by steam electricity hydrogen and even gas started to pop up keep in mind just because these cars existed didn’t mean they were commonplace before the 1920s these vehicles were germane either novelties or only for the rich it’s like self-driving cars of today or Apple watches just kidding those are never catching on progress had to go on and Karl Benz knew progress he was a pioneer in everything automotive before the turn of the 20th century he invented the first truck first production model and first flat engine he invented a lot vastly oversimplifying by 1900 car companies had started production across Europe and the US what makes technology change Society is when it’s popular and easy to afford for the general public technology becomes important in the historical sense only when it transcends improving the task of a small group to changing the culture for a nation and the world Henry Ford was incredibly influential he placed his mark on the history of the car and the u.s. the car existed decades before Ford the assembly line existed before Ford but what Ford did was drastically improved the assembly line process to create cars faster and cheaper by doing so he was able to lower the cost of the individual car and made it a new technology available for every American the automobile became a cultural icon no longer do people need to live with an working distance from work in urban cities no longer do people rely on trains to go a city over transportation became individualized it was freedom personified or machinae fide America while we kind of take it for granted today this idea that you could travel without the use of a horse or your legs over great distances was liberating just drive and you’ll go there as the car became more popular and people started driving everywhere changes had to be made or attempted to be made to infrastructure in urban design to accommodate for these hunks of metal traveling at much greater speeds than a horse of course in our daily lives today unless you live in a city with great public transportation or a village with no contact with the outside world you rely on a vehicle to get you from point A to B or in my case from my apartment to Wendy’s and back in this alternate scenario cars simply are never invented of course realistically they would have been people were tinkering with the idea since the 1860s but just with the Gunpowder video for some reason people never create automotive vehicles in the scenario maybe vehicles just combust when you create them I don’t know instead in this alternate timeline people rely on the same transportation before the 20th century trains horses and maybe planes what changes everything literally everything about the life you live today in some way as a product of the automobile being invented in this alternate turn of the 20th century say 1900 till World War 1 not much is different majority of people still use horse carriages or walk French and Germans still hate each other the only people truly affected are the rich who have to take a buggy instead so tragic so who wins world war one if there’s no car you ask well Jimmy that’s something you can’t predict I’m not going to talk about any political or warfare alternatives in the scenario I can’t though it would be cool to see the Nazis defeated by polish Calvary and our time line warfare of the 20th century pretty much depended on automotives no not that Jeep turrets changed the Battle of the Bulge or anything it changes how supplies and equipment is shipped and that determines everything in a war with cars war became mobile by removing automobiles you remove the variants spawned by their invention like jeeps supply trucks this thing everything except for the war drain the war train in the scenario there are no supply trucks to bring food and resources to the frontlines no troop transports except for on trains and boats the blitzkrieg of Nazi Germany is impossible to achieve without transport trucks in mobile warfare how modern war is conducted is nothing like in our timeline so for this political and war situation in the scenario I’ll leave that up to your imagination so Cody you say eyes locked waiting to kill what else changes in this scenario like I said earlier everything not everything is violence Jimmy story time this summer I was in an accident so for a week I was without a car distances that used to take me seven minutes driving now took me thirty by walking a stroll to Walmart across my tiny college town felt more like trekking to Mortimer the pointless story without the invention of the car in the scenario walking is still the primary mode of transportation since walking is a slow endeavor that means urban planning itself shifts entirely to accommodate a walking population designs of streets placement of stores and necessities in our timeline US and Canadian cities follow a structure called the Chicago style city centre capitalism night like parts etc in the middle surrounded by an inner city poorest housing industrial zone surrounded by the suburbs which are more affluent people the only reason the style exists is because cars have allowed people to drive distances to go to work today it’s common for people to travel 20 minutes in what used to take hours just to go to work not that it did take hours they just live near work this is why we have suburbs and urban sprawl since people can travel great distances we don’t need to live close to our jobs anymore for the market since many North American cities were developed or rapidly grew after the invention of the car many cities designed their entire urban structure around this one invention except for Boston who cares about drivers in Boston in Europe this isn’t as prevalent as cars had to adapt to already existing European cities with the history and culture which is why they’re so tiny in this scenario these alternate cities aren’t sprawling over many miles they’re just as densely packed as industrial age America every necessity needs to be within walking distance any future cities built in the 20th century remains small and compact civilization is entirely dependent on railroads and planes if those are invented without the semi-truck and invention of the interstate system resources can’t be easily shipped from one place to another without the use of rail this problem becomes more apparent as the population increases requiring more rail for more goods other people often like to scoff at the terrible public transportation of the US and while the US doesn’t have a train system like Japan or Germany it hasn’t really needed to the country is so large and vast the cheapest and best option is the car it’s one of the reasons why drive throughs are so popular have you ever rode a bike through an area you perceived as small and ended up taking far longer for you to cross did you ever think wow this is much larger than I remember the reason is cars affect the way we perceive great distances meanwhile in the u.s. states craft a more independent identity for themselves as without cars the only time people travel to other states as for important occasions regional cultures become more fleshed-out instead of the slowly gradual unification of our time line across the world rural areas are not really populated at all do you say of course not that’s why they’re rural but in this scenario without cars is dangerous and a burden to live miles away from the closest sign of civilization modern cities in the southwest or rural West might not even exist if they did they would be by a railroad in this alternate timeline the modern economy most likely doesn’t exist today we are entirely dependent on a vital network of roads across the world to transport goods from one place to another Walmart certainly doesn’t exist economies remain localized even if technology progresses horses in the 20th century stay a valuable transportation tool however the use of them is only for people living in rural areas because it’s hard to keep a horse when you live in an apartment but you see Cody we might need a whole new scenario in just a few decades I really need to start closing the doors so people don’t barge in oh hey Alaric for map find it see Cody the reason why I say the scenario could change is because we’re about to enter a whole new air of automotives self-driving cars from cars that were already starting to see today like the Tesla Model S that can drive themselves on the highway to Google’s own self-driving cars which don’t need any driver interaction at all and in the more distant future even luxury self-driving cars like this concept from Mercedes I guess the door is locked already did you break in my window anyway I discussed this more in depth in my most recent video on the future of self-driving cars oh come on you stepped on my fern anyway what do you think our world would be like without the invention of cars say in the comments this is Cody of alternate history hub [Music] [Music]
Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9qTIdVZO7M

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