The modern car is a marvel of technological sophistication. It is a long way off from the crank turning-to-start cars of the 1950s. Modern vehicles can literally drive themselves. They have computer systems akin to a modern jetliner that "flies-by-wire". And these cars are not necessarily the top-of-the-range models. Many basic, entry-level cars have ABS and EBD systems, air conditioning, PDC and FDC, lane-drift and extended driving alerts, Eco-drive modes, intuitive lighting systems, cruise control and gear control levers on the steering wheel. Added to this comes Bluetooth, cell phone integration, media player connectivity and Internet access. The onboard technology also monitors all the active systems of the engine and can accurately gauge your journey statistics. Lift the hood of the car and you can't find the plugs. Colour coded lids tell you what you can touch and what not to. Generally, you top up the oil and fill the windscreen wiper's water console. Oh, and you do fuel and tyre replacement. Everything else has a myriad of dashboard warning lights. Heaven forbid any alert sounds - panic sets in quickly and a stern acoustic sound that you have to get your vehicle to an authorized technical centre shouts-at-you incessantly. In the absence of this terrorizing eventuality, driving the modern car is a very pleasant experience. It is sophistication simplified.
As we move towards the 22nd century, hybrid technology is already entering the mainstream of car manufacturing. Mixed-method power is expensive at present but as costs come down, more and more vehicles will standardize on Eco power as we strive to lower carbon footprints the world over.
Now what is my point? If you're an adult reading this, you are probably driving a vehicle similarly specced to the one described earlier. Your schooling didn't prepare you specifically to drive the modern car but you can operate one. Many of the adults in your youth were in denial that the car would become so sophisticated yet simple to operate. But someone growing up with you and maybe alongside you dreamt of this possibility...someone in your generation had the vision and drive to push at the boundaries of conventional thinking at the time and doggedly pursued the dream that today is the modern car. And the same thing happened in other spheres, whether the microwave oven, the LED lightbulb, the fridge or the GHD. Children in our time dreamt of these possibilities and over time realized their dreams.
I have a very simple request if you're teaching some of the one million children in the schools of the Western Cape: keep our children's dreams alive; keep the environment around them a stimulating one; don't limit their ambition because you may not have dared-to-dream!