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"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
- Neal Stephenson

Smart Lanes  
  Roadways that monitored, directed and controlled traffic.  

The problem of how to control the movement of large numbers of private vehicles has been a recurring question for science fiction writers (Americans, anyway). One of Robert Heinlein's early short stories, The Roads Must Roll, address similar technical issues. In his case, the roads themselves provide motive power.

John had taken the wheel at Barstow when I-40 fed into I-15…He could brake and steer and control the throttle. The road sensors now measured his speed and how much his Jeep veered from the midpoint of his lane. The state would fine him for high speed or a wide dispersion from the lane midpoint.

They all drove on smart lanes that billed and fined the driver by the second.

From Nanotime, by Bart Kosko.
Published by Avon Books in 1987
Additional resources -

Another writer who works with this issue is Philip K. Dick - see his story Minority Report. Traffic control systems using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) devices in license tags has also been implemented.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Nanotime
  More Ideas and Technology by Bart Kosko
  Tech news articles related to Nanotime
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