BttF_013When driving in the sky along with other flying cars that fill the skies in 2015, Doc follows a proscribed path in the sky called a “skyway.” Lanes are distinguished by floating lightposts, which the pilot keeps to his left. It all seems a little chaosy, but so does driving in Mumbai to the outsider, and it works if you know how. The other brilliance of the skyway is that suddenly flying cars make some sense systemically. Before this, I certainly thought of flying cars as personal helicopters, taking you from point to point. But of course that becomes an air traffic control nightmare. Much better to adapt a known system that puts the onus of control to the operators.

Less successful are the road signs.

Road signs

Road signs are large 7-segment green LED marquees, the largest of which displays the exit, and smaller scrolling lines above and below include other information like current time, weather, and traffic times. One reminds us that its end destinations include Phoenix, Boston, and London. Certainly a major improvement would be to lose the 7-segments and replace it with something more resolved for legibility.


Other signs around the city alert fliers to the skyway conditions, including weather and wind direction. This is fairly useful for someone to know whether it’s a good time to get into their car, but would also be useful for drivers to hand in hand while on the road. Still the LED display is pretty crappy typography compared to what we’re used to today.


In contrast the Hill Valley sign is lovely partially because it’s fixed and fully resolved typography.


One thought on “Skyways

  1. Pingback: Report Card: Back to the Future Part II | Sci-fi interfaces

Leave a Reply