Joe Average finally opened his eyes. His smart house had been trying to wake him for the past 10 minutes: The window shades had opened on cue, and the ambient lighting had been getting brighter to combat the gloomy day outside. He could hear the morning news, the broadcast projected onto the mirror in his bathroom. He thought he heard a faint electric whine coming from outside and the thump of a parcel being dropped off by a delivery drone.
It had stormed overnight. Joe wondered if his electric pickup in the garage was getting its power from the house, or had the power gone out at some point and the truck was now acting as a generator to keep electricity flowing to his electronics? Either way, it's nice to never have to experience an outage again.
Alexa confirmed the power had not gone out. Both EVs, the truck and crossover, were fully charged-the house and cars and grid all talk to each other to ascertain the best time for the vehicles to charge. Home is still the cheapest option, but once in a while a notification says a quick top-off of electrons at Joe's favorite coffee bar is the better choice. He can add meaningful range in the time it takes to get his caffeine hit.
Joe smiled as he remembered the days-not so long ago-when drivers worried about when and where they could charge their EVs, checking apps and maps for the location of a charger that would work with a particular vehicle. Today, standardized fast chargers are everywhere and compatible with all models, while modern bridges, parking spaces, and taxi stands serve double duty as wireless charging pads. Mobile chargers will come to you if the need somehow arises, a concierge service offered by some automakers. Businesses offer free charging to attract customers. Stopping at a gas station and squeezing a dirty nozzle until a tank is full seems almost barbaric now, and the pumps are ever more difficult to find, having been replaced in droves by charging stations.
SHOULD JOE HEAD TO THE OFFICE TODAY?
Joe's schedule shows he can accomplish everything from his home office. But the body scan during his shower, the facial scan of the bags under his eyes in the mirror, and his mood monitors suggest a change of scenery would likely do him some good. His biometric patterns will be cross-checked against weather and traffic to find the best time for him to head downtown to work.
The trip there could take a number of forms. If Alexa delivers the bright news that traffic is flowing smoothly, he can tap his SUV's 1,000 lb-ft of torque, and the drive will be worth it. Today's cars are so intuitive: Like a horse that's nudged to one side and executes on its own, a car knows how much to brake and steer to follow the driver's direction for a move such as a lane change.
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