Graham is What the Alternative to Autonomous Cars Looks like

Graham the survivor 9 photos
Photo: Towards Zero Project
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Contrary to what we might believe, one of the most important reasons carmakers and officials alike are pushing for the development of self-driving cars is road safety.
It's not an evil scheme devised to create a generation of people who can't operate vehicles on their own, nor a movement of the lazy brigade who would much rather not do something, including driving, if that were possible. It's actually the only way that the number of accidents on the road could diminish significantly.

Of course, there's always an alternative. This one, however, would probably take thousands of years, which is actually a refreshing thought. You wouldn't really want your daughter to be dating somebody like Graham, would you? But who is Graham?

He's the creation of three people with very different sets of skills: a trauma surgeon (Christian Kenfield), a crash investigation expert (David Logan), and a visual artist (Patricia Piccinini). According to them, he is what a human being would look like if our bodies evolved toward a better ability to withstand car crashes. We know what you're thinking - "I'd rather die than look like that" - but you have to understand that nobody can oppose evolution.

Graham's transformations would make him nothing short of an abomination by today's anatomical standards, but everything is there for a reason. Starting from top to bottom, you will have probably already noticed his huge head. His brain is actually the same size, but his skull is much thicker and built like a bicycle helmet. He also has more fluid and ligaments to hold the brain in place in case of a crash, so damage is reduced.

His face is definitely one that only a mother would love - and that's because hers would be pretty much the same. His nose is tucked in, meaning it's not the most prominent feature anymore, replaced by a thick layer of fat. He has virtually no neck, so there's nothing to break in a severe collision. The ribcage is stronger and protected with a set of organic liquid bags. Graham's knees can bend both ways, meaning a side impact would not be so devastating. Finally, since this project was carried out in Australia, the artist thought it would be a good idea to give him kangaroo-like legs so he could just jump out of the way of danger.

I think we can all agree Graham represents a future we wouldn't want to live in, and so the self-driving cars suddenly appear as a much more desirable alternative. But I think we can all agree that the worst part is that even thousands of years from now, the goatee will still be in style. You can take a closer look at Graham on his personal, interactive website.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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