Driverless Cars

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Boy’s Life Magazine – October 1990. This cover is an adaptation of an advertisement that appeared in Newsweek Magazine on December 17, 1956.

William Branham told about a vision he experienced in June 1933 which contained a number of prophecies which he wrote down on an "old paper". One of the things that William Branham prophecied was that cars would become more egg-shaped as time moved on and that science would ultimately produce a driverless vehicle.

But there are significant problems with this prophecy:

  1. Why did William Branham initially only mention the prophecy of egg-shaped cars (driverless cars were not mentioned until over 5 years later)?
  2. Why did he not relate the prophecy of driverless cars until well after driverless cars were featured in TV shows, magazines and newspapers?
  3. Why did William Branham's "prophecy" of driverless cars bear an uncanny resemblance to the prior predictions in the media?
  4. If the prophecy was written down, why did it change significantly over time?

Was this the source of William Branham's 1958 driverless car prophecy?

The May 14, 1958 episode of the Disneyland TV series titled "Magic Highway USA" examined the future of transportation, including the future of driverless vehicles, complete with a game of checkers. This was over 3 months prior to the September 27, 1958 sermon in which William Branham first mentions his "prophecy" of the driverless car.

Please watch carefully from 3:11 to 4:37 of the following video and decided for yourself. Was this simply a coincidence or is this another clear example of plagiarism?

The driverless car imagined by Disney in 1958

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BIG problems with the prophecy

En Francais
La vérité pure et simple sur les voitures ayant la forme d`un œuf.

In the Laodicean Church Age book, William Branham says, “Now let me say this. Can anyone prove any of those visions wrong? Were they not all fulfilled?” Almost 70 years after 1933, we now have the benefit of hindsight in our ability to confirm the accuracy of these prophecies.

Just like you dial your phone?

Of his "vision" of driverless cars, William Branham said that in his vision, in the future, you would:

Just set your dial like this—like you dial your phone—your car takes you right on to it, can't wreck nor nothing.[1]

If this was a vision of the future, why would anyone be DIALING on a phone?

Changes in the prophecy over time

William Branham stated that the 1933 prophecies were all written down. However, this book mysteriously disappeared after his death. Why was this allowed to happen? Was it intentionally lost? Did it ever exist?

Newsweek Magazine – December 17, 1956

Because the prophecies were written down, each retelling should have been consistent through the years. However, this is not the case as initially this prophecy is only about egg-shaped cars (1953 - 1957). After this, the cars are remote-controlled (1958) with a glass roof and no steering wheel, with a family inside (1960) playing cards or checkers. The bumpers had sensors and the car was controlled by radar and magnets (1961). Finally, in the Church Age Book (CAB), the car has a plastic bubble-top.

Newspaper ads and TV shows of a driverless car pre-date the first time the vision was told

Why did William Branham first mention the driverless car only after the appearance of the 1956 advertisement in Newsweek (which also appeared in many other newspapers and magazines) and the Disney TV show featuring driverless cars in 1958? If the prophecy really foresaw the future, why weren't the people watching DVD's, sending email on their iphones or playing games on their handheld gaming device? In reality, William Branham appears to have simply copied this "prophecy" from the popular press.
1958 book on driverless cars

When the Central Power and Light Company ran an advertisement entitled "Power Companies Build For Your New Electric Living,” Branham's telling of this vision now included details of the people sitting inside of the car. His description closely matched the scene from the article, from the rounded glass dome of the vehicle to the family playing a board game in the cab while leaving the steering wheel unattended.

Again, Branham claimed that his vision had been fulfilled. This time, however, it was fulfilled by the driverless car. That same car was on exhibit in the 1962 World's Fair Century 21 Exposition, in Seattle, Washington. Branham toured the exhibits, and described the car as fulfillment of prophecy.

But like the egg-shaped Zephyr, this technology has not become mainstream. Followers of William Branham gather great excitement when they read of any advancement in the automotive industry, hoping that these vehicles will someday become common. Printed in newspapers, it was already common discussion by an excited nation.

"Republished in magazines and newspapers, these designs of Bel Geddes's "prophetic imagination," one historian noted, "struck a responsive chord in a public anxiously looking toward the better environment that was promised by an enlightened technology" Page 158, Stage Designers in Early Twentieth-Century America


With the progression of science, one can raise many questions surrounding this prophesy describing an egg-shaped car. Why are cars no longer in the shape of the Lincoln Zephyr? Why would God show a vision of a family playing a board game, when modern families are more likely to be entertained by a DVD, Blu-Ray, Xbox 360 or Playstation? Why did Branham claim prophetic insight regarding something that he saw at a World's Fair and in a magazine, as well as newspaper ads?

  • 1953: Egg shaped automobiles [2]
  • 1955: Egg shaped automobiles [3]
  • 1956: Cars would look like an egg. [4]
  • 1956: Newsweek and other publications contain a futuristic ad showing a driverless car.
  • 1957: Written on an old paper, automobiles would be shaped like an egg. [5]
  • 1957: Cars would become more egg shaped, just before the total annihilation of the United States.[6]
  • May 1958: The May 14, 1958 episode of the Disneyland TV series titled "Magic Highway USA" examined the future of transportation, including the future of driverless vehicles, complete with a game of checkers.
  • Sept 1958: Egg-shaped, remote control car with no driver. Cities with “automatic” zones. [7]
  • 1960: Egg-shaped automobiles controlled by electronics with no driver. Written in a book in 1933. [8]
  • 1960: Egg-shaped automobiles that won’t need a steering wheel. [9]
  • 1960: Egg-shaped, driverless car with glass roof and no steering wheel. [10]
  • 1961: Written on an old paper. Egg-shaped automobile with glass over it, with a family playing cards inside while the car drives itself with something on the bumpers to guide it. [11]
  • 1961: Glass-topped, egg-shaped car with a family inside playing cards. [12]
  • 1961: Egg-shaped car with an American family inside playing cards, while radar controls the car. [13]
  • 1964: Egg-shaped automobile on a highway with no guide, with a family inside playing checkers. [14]
  • 1964: Glass-topped, egg-shaped car, not guided by a steering wheel. [15]
  • 1964: Egg-shaped driverless automobile, with a family playing checkers or cards at a table inside. [16]
  • Church Age Book: Plastic bubble-top car without a sterring wheel on a beautiful road. The people inside were playing a game. [17]

Checkers, anyone?

February 22, 1959 edition of Arthur Radebaugh's Sunday comic strip "Closer Than We Think"

If this was a legitimate prophecy, a vision of the future, why were the people in the driverless car playing checkers? Shouldn't they have been playing a game on a screen? Angry Birds, perhaps? In another couple of years, everyone will be wearing virtual reality headsets.

Wherefore art thou, steering wheel?

Believe it or not, the steering wheel was invented after the car. The first automobile (the Benz Patent-Motorwagen) appeared in 1886, and was guided by a steering tiller. The steering wheel did not make an appearance until 1894.

So William Branham's prophecy that science would progress to the point where cars would no longer need steering wheels...is kind of backwards. How do you drive the car into the driveway if you don't have a steering wheel? All driverless cars today have a steering wheel.

Timing of the prophecy's fulfillment

EggCartoon.jpg

William Branham said in 1964 that this prophecy was already fulfilled, and that companies were taking orders for driverless trucks already that they could control from headquarters. He also considered the Volkswagen a “perfect egg”. Time has proven that this prophecy was nowhere near fulfilled in 1964. William Branham also admits reading articles and a TV show about driverless cars at around the same time that he expands the vision from egg-shaped to driverless cars.

  • 1960: They've already got that out; I seen it here not long ago.
  • 1961: They've got it right now. You seen it on television here not long ago. and It's on television. "Popular Science"--"Mechanics," rather, all have it; we got the car.
  • 1964: The little Volkswagen is a perfect egg, just exactly and and trucking companies and things are getting trucks made like them. They can control it right from their headquarters like that, don't even have to have a driver in it. And here it is all already made, and there it is with the cars.

William Branham's statements are not true. They did not have the car, and they did not have trucking companies ordering them in 1964.

The 1918 concept car

Industry Commentary

  • We could deliver a car to your office [near Tower Bridge] that could drive to Bristol. The technology exists, the problem is liability if there is an accident. Times Online, Aug. 12, 2009
  • This is not science fiction...Now the question is what does society want to do with it? You're looking at these issues of congestion, safety, energy and emissions. Technically there should be no reason why we can't transfer to a totally different world."(Yahoo News, Jan 7, 2008, Larry Burns, VP of Research and Development for General Motors)

Driverless vehicles in the media

With driver assist technologies being integrated into vehicles today, the promise of a fully autonomous individual vehicle on all or designated roadways is possible. The main problem is responsibility for liability.

Driverless car from early 60s.jpg

Driverless technology for automobiles has been a technological dream since cars were first invented (see drawing from 1918).

A driverless car (controlled by radio) was first mentioned in Popular Science magazine in its November 1925 issue. Driverless vehicles were revisited in the magazine on a repeated basis since then. (http://www.popsci.com/)

The Milwaukee Sentinel described tests being made with driverless car technology in an article titled "'Phantom Auto' will tour city" in their December 8, 1926 edition.

Driverless cars were described by David H. Keller in the “The Living Machine” published in Wonder Stories in 1935.

At the New York World’s Fair in 1939, General Motors Futurama exhibit, “Highways & Horizons” pavilion contained audio-equipped chairs in which visitors rode for a third of a mile through the 35,738 square foot scale model of an imagined world of 1960, complete with automated highways with driverless vehicles.

In the 1950's, autonomous cars represented the modern life of luxury that was just around the corner and were seen in popular media throughout the 50's and 60's. Disney also imagined a world of self-driving cars, with a heavy emphasis on leisure. The May 14, 1958 episode of the Disneyland TV series titled "Magic Highway USA" examined the future of transportation, including the future of driverless vehicles, complete with a game of checkers.

Bill and Sue Severn published a book which detailed their vision of driverless car technology entitled "Highways to Tomorrow" in 1958.
Nissan Cube

Egg Shaped Cars

The egg-shape design always seems sensational, but from its introduction in 1942 has never made its way into mass-production. The design is not aerodynamic (an egg is designed to exit a chicken's body, not to be thrown), has the potential to crack in the wrong places during a collusion, an does not support fast acceleration.

As cars have been purposed more for slow traffic in major cities, they have actually become more boxy as this provides more room for the occupants of the vehicle.

Cadbury Creme car

Cadbury Creme

A Cadbury Creme Egg is a chocolate product produced in the shape of an egg. The product consists of a thick milk chocolate shell, housing a white and yellow fondant filling which mimics the albumen and yolk of a real egg.

Cadbury created the "Creme Egg Car" which, as the name suggest, is an ovular vehicles painted to look like Creme Eggs. They are driven to various places to advertise the eggs, but are based mainly at the Cadbury factory in Bournville. Five "Creme Egg Cars" were built from Bedford Rascal chassis. The mirrors are taken from a Citroën 2CV.

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Footnotes

  1. 61-0806
  2. I said, "Just before that time comes, that automobiles...They'll look like an egg. They'll be shaped. That's a vision. Be something on the shape of something like that." And that's the way they'll be just before the rapture. (March 26, 1953, Jeffersonville, Indiana)
  3. And at that time, automobiles, just before the coming of the Lord, will be in the shape of an egg." Now, remember that; keep it in mind. See? That was in 1932, or something like that. And look how they're shaping down every year, right to it. We're nearer the end time; we are. (May 1, 1955, Chicago, Illinois)
  4. I saw a vision, that before the coming of the Lord, that cars would look like an egg. How many remembers that prediction? Is there anybody left in here? Brother Steward's gone, and I guess. It was 1933 when we were having services over here. I guess just about all of them's gone now, since then. (May 13, 1956, Jeffersonville, Indiana)
  5. And I said it in '33 when I saw the coming of the Lord. And how the automobiles would continually shape up like an egg, until finally they would come into a perfect egg shape. Maybe part of you here knows; it's written on old papers and things (January 20, 1957, Jeffersonville, Indiana)
  6. I seen in '33 how cars would look before the coming of the Lord. They're pretty near in that shape. You remember, I prophesied this... You mark it in your books... I've told you many times--every time here. There'll come a time... America is a woman's nation. And a woman will rise up, soon, in America, and become a great person, like a president or somewhere, before the coming of the Lord, I believe. See? Just remember that, that I've said that. And cars will become more like an egg shape, just before the total annihilation or the destruction comes to this nation. Let us pray. JEHOVAH.JIREH_ PHOENIX.AZ SATURDAY_ 57-0309E
  7. And also said that cars would keep getting more like an egg, until the last days they'd be just in the shape of an egg. Now, I said, "It'll come to pass that those cars will not be run by a steering wheel; it'll be something another run." It's them cars they're bringing out right now, remote control, for safety. Correct. You won't be able to enter into a city then, a twenty-mile zone, you can just go twenty mile. You can't hit another car, because it's remote control. See, it's going like that right now. (September 27, 1958, Jeffersonville, Indiana)
  8. I said, "Automobileswill--come like the shape of an egg." You know what a '33 car looked like. And I said, "There'll even be traveling on the road, they won't even have to guide it." They've already got that out; I seen it here not long ago. It'll be controlled by electronics like, or by a magnetic post, to cut their speed and so forth, and raise their speed. They can't hit against one another and so forth. And I've got that wrote in a book since 1933. (August 5, 1960, Yakima, Washington)
  9. Also, science will progress, especially in the mechanical world. Automobiles will continue to get like egg shape. Finally they will build one that won't need a steering wheel. (They've got it now.) It will be controlled by some other power. (November 13, 1960, Jeffersonville, Indiana)
  10. Finally they will invent a car that they won't have to have a steering wheel in it. I seen a family going down the... Call it, 'road,' in a glass-top car, great big fine-looking roads and fine car. And they were sitting, looking at one another, and the car was running by itself, going right on around the curves and everything." And they've got the car right now, it's already invented. They've got the car. (December 11, 1960, Jeffersonville, Indiana)
  11. And then I seen the time there'd be an increase in science. I noticed there'd be an automobile... I had it wrote down there. I got it right with me now, old yellow paper, that there'd be a machine, automobile perfected, looked like an egg, would be glass over it. And there was a man and woman, the family, setting there with their backs turned to one another, playing cards, and the machine traveling itself. Something on the bumpers that would--it couldn't hit the others, going down. And I seen that on television a few nights ago. They got that thing perfected right now. (January 28, 1961, Phoenix, Arizona)
  12. Science will be increased, until it comes to a place until they'll perfect an automobile, that looks like an egg, before the end time." There I seen it. And I said, "They'll control it with some kind of a steering outfit that they don't have to touch it theirself." I seen an American family, going down a great big broad way playing cards with a glass-top car, looked like an egg. They've got it right now. You seen it on television here not long ago. They've got it. (March 12, 1961, Richmond, Virginia)
  13. Now, the fifth thing. "Science will progress in such a way until they will make a car that will not have to be guided by a steering wheel, and the cars will continue to be shaped like an egg until the consummation," the end time. I seen American family going down the road in a broad way, riding in a car with their backs turned towards where the wheel should be; looked like they were playing checkers or cards. And we got it. It's on television. "Popular Science"--"Mechanics," rather, all have it; we got the car. It's controlled by remote control by--by radar. They won't even have to have any steering wheel in it. Just set your dial like this--like you dial your phone--your car takes you right on to it, can't wreck nor nothing. No other cars--the magnet keeps the rest of them away from you. See? They got it. Oh, my. Think of it. Predicted thirty years before it happened. (August 6, 1961, Jeffersonville, Indiana)
  14. I said, "Such progress will take place!" I said, "I see automobiles looking like an egg, going down the street. There is cars go down the highways, with some kind of a control, they don't have to guide it. I seen an American family playing checker in the back of a car." They've got the car right now, if they just had the highways to put it on. The little Volkswagen is a perfect egg, just exactly, and it's all the other cars. (March 21, 1964, Denham Springs, Louisiana)
  15. And I said, "Then science is going to be so great, man is going to get so smart, till he'll invent so many things until he's going to make an automobile that looks like an egg, that'll have like a glass top on it, and it'd be controlled by some other power than a steering wheel." And they've got the car. (July 26, 1964, Jeffersonville, Indiana)
  16. And now, it also said, "And it shall come to pass, that before the end time shall come, that automobiles will take on the shape of an egg, become more like an egg. And I saw an American family driving down a highway in a car that... They were setting facing one another, and had a table, and were, look like, playing checkers or cards. And they didn't have any steering wheel in the car. And it was controlled by some power without a steering wheel. How many remembers me prophesying that (See?), that's been here? Now, at the World's Fair they've already got the car on the market. Here is the... It's sold now; some big company has taken many of them. And this car, here it is. Paul Boyd remembered the prophecy, looked into his book what I'd said, and took the picture in there. The Lord's Word is perfectly accurate. That was in 1933. That would be... Let's see, what would that be? Thirty-two years ago, wouldn't it? This is '64. Yeah, thirty... Yeah, thirty-one years ago. Thirty-one years ago the Lord told me that, and here it is. And the company's here that's already ordered them; and the--and trucking companies and things are getting trucks made like them. They can control it right from their headquarters like that, don't even have to have a driver in it. And here it is all already made, and there it is with the cars. (August 23, 1964, Jeffersonville, Indiana)
  17. The fourth vision showed the great advances in science that would come after the second world war. It was headed up in the vision of a plastic bubble-topped car that was running down beautiful highways under remote control so that people appeared seated in this car without a steering wheel and they were playing some sort of a game to amuse themselves. (Church Age Book)


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