"it slowly dawned on me that the landscape of science is maybe what interests people a great deal in science fiction."
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.
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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