The Introduction Of New Automobiles Is Typically Accompanied By Cringe-Worthy Events, Such As Meaningless Pyrotechnics, Lifeless Futurescapes, Blatant Pandering To “The Youth,” Or Foolish Ceo Antics. (Remember When Elon Musk’s Cybertruck Attempted To Shatter A Window But Failed? Less Complicated Periods.)
Therefore, It Is With Some Degree Of Reluctance That I Must Bring You To This Video From Hyundai As The Next Exhibit In This Continuous Series Of “Auto Companies Provide Sad Visions Of The Future.” This Series Has Been Going On For Quite Some Time.
The Movie, Which Was Published The Day Before Yesterday, Was Created With The Intention Of Revealing Hyundai’s Newest Electric Vehicle, The Ioniq 6, Which Has A Battery Capacity Of 77.4 Kwh And A Range Of 379 Miles.
Instead, We Were Given A Plethora Of Buzzwords Such As “Trashion,” “Metaverse,” And “Nfts,” All Of Which Were Designed With The Intention Of Appealing To A Younger Market, But Did So In The Most Ineffective Way Conceivable.
Depressing Future Visions Of The Automobile Industry Are Presented By The Companies Themselves.
The Film Introduces Us To An Artist By The Name Of Mia Who Is Putting On A Performance Called A “Trashion Show.” So Relatable! Trashion Is The Art Of Reusing Waste And Recyclable Materials—Basically Trash—As Fashion. For Those Who, Like Me, Are Not In The Know, Trashion Is The Term For This Practice.
I Don’t Have A Problem With This, But I Do Wonder If A Trashion Artist Like Mia Would Be Able To Afford A Brand New Electric Vehicle, Given The Horrifying Dealer Markups We’ve Been Seeing And The Unmanageable Amounts Of Student Debt That People In Her Demographic Are Struggling Under. I’m Not Opposed To This, But I Do Question Whether She Would Be Able To. But I Digress.
Leaving Aside The Question Of Whether Or Not Mia Would Be Able To Get Away With Sleeping In Her Car Without Obtaining A Citation For Vagrancy, The Picture Of The Future That Is Displayed In This Video Is Not The Idealization Of Freedom That Hyundai Believes It To Be.
It Makes Me Think Of People Like Uber Drivers And Other Disgruntled Workers In The Gig Economy Who Are Compelled To Sleep In Their Vehicles In Order To Make A Living Wage. Images Of Younger Generations, Such As Millennials And Gen Zers, Being Coerced Into Working Excessive Hours In Order To Satisfy “The Grind” And Other Absurd Capitalist Ideals.
When Taking All Of This Into Consideration, It Shouldn’t Come As Much Of A Surprise That Mia’s Trashion Program Won’t Take Place In Real Life, But Rather In The Metaverse. That’s Right: It Appears That Her Goals In The Fashion Industry Do Not Include The Design And Production Of Actual Clothes That Can Be Worn In Real Life, But Rather Just Ensembles For Virtual Minifigs. Why Would She Be Doing All Of That Driving If She Didn’t Have To?
Another Figure In The Hyundai Advertisement, Who Is Referred To As A “Social Content Creator,” Is Named Joan. While Getting Ready To Livestream About The Vr Trashion Show, Joan Straightens Her Hair Using Her Electric Vehicle’s Multiple Usb Connectors.
Once More, We Are Given An Example Of A “Hustling” Generation Z Member Who Does Not Have Time To Use Her Own Bathroom In Order To Get Ready, Presuming That She Even Had A Bathroom Of Her Own.
Mia’s Trashion Show Is Present In The Metaverse, Which Should Not Come As A Surprise At All.
Hyundai, Following In The Footsteps Of Other Automakers That Came Before It, Views Its Most Recent Electric Vehicle (Ev) Not So Much As A Blunt Instrument To Get From Point A To Point B, But Rather As An Idealistic “Place” For A Wide Panoply Of Activities. This Brings Up The Question Of How We Choose To Spend Our Time In Electric And Driverless Vehicles When We Are Being Driven To Our Destinations.
And As A Result, It Has Spurred A Peculiar And Mostly Unnoticed Drive In The Technology And Automobile Industries To Recast Automobiles As Social Settings On Par With Our Homes And Places Of Employment, An Area That Is Also Referred To As The “Third Place.”
Although The Idea Of A “Third Place” Has Been Around For Several Decades, Urban Sociologist Ray Oldenburg Perhaps Did The Greatest Job Of Articulating It In His Book The Great Good Place, Which Was Published In 1989. In It, He Argued That Third Places All Over The World Have Some Characteristics In Common With One Another That Are Essential.
“The eternal sameness of the third place overshadows the variations in its outward appearance and seems unaffected by the wide differences in cultural attitudes toward the typical gathering place of informal public life,” Oldenburg wrote. “The beer joint in which the middle class American takes no pride can be as much a third place as the proud Viennese coffeehouse.”
Barbershops, Cafes, Parks, Clubs, And Even Starbucks Might Fall Into The Category Of “Typical Third Places.” But Given The Confined Nature Of Their Environs, The Transience Of Their Locations, And The Demands Placed On Our Attention, Can Cars Really Be Termed A Third Place?
When All Of The Unfavorable Consequences, Such As Increased Traffic And Pollution, As Well As Deaths, Are Taken Into Account, It’s Not Exactly A Bright Concept. The Fact That This Is The Case Will Not Prevent Hyundai From Marketing Their New Electric Vehicle (Ev) As A Potential Third Place, Complete With Ambiance Lighting That Is Appropriate For The Next Generation Of Social Media Influencers.