South Florida’s Future: Our reality compared to what ‘Back to the Future Part II’ envisioned

WSVN — Wednesday marks a milestone in a movie that captured our imaginations. We’ve reached "the future" in "Back to the Future." 7’s Craig Stevens explores how far we’ve come — and still have to go — in our special assignment report "South Florida’s Future."

Christopher Lloyd (as Doc Brown): "Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need … roads."

It was a memorable line in an iconic 1989 movie, one that opened a window into what the future could hold.

Christopher Lloyd (as Doc Brown): "Wednesday, October 21st, 2015."

Michael J. Fox (as Marty McFly): "2015?! You mean we’re in the future?!"

Yes, Marty, the future is here. But in many ways, our world looks a lot different than what "Back to the Future Part Two" movie makers dreamed up for the fictional town of Hill Valley.

Most notably, we’re still grounded. While the realistic future of a South Florida commute does not include flying cars, it could involve some that are driverless.

The Florida Department of Transportation is planning for that inevitability now. Officials say the Sunshine State is leading the way in testing technology that, once fully rolled out in the next 20 years or so, will change the way our cars connect, react, and take us from point A to point B.  

FDOT Assistant Secretary Richard Biter: "You will have a car that will pick you up where you’re at and take you where you want to go — without any interaction upon your part — other than getting in and out of the vehicle."

One car that has withstood the test of time is the DeLorean.

Frank Nunez: "Everyone wants to be able to travel somewhere in time."

It’s estimated less than 7,000 of these stainless steel machines still exist in the world, and if you’re lucky, you may spot a few South Florida super fans in the rare rides.  

Pedro Tages (voice of): "It draws attention wherever you go. Driving down 836, nobody passes me. They are all either behind or next to me, taking pictures, going thumbs up, saying, ‘Hi, nice car.’"

Just don’t accidentally push one to 88 miles per hour, or … you end up back on Biscayne Boulevard on December 15, 1956, at an old car parade, no less?! That’s ironic.

Craig Stevens: "A lot has changed since ‘Back to the Future Part II" hit theaters in November of 1989. This is what we looked like back then … and here we are today. It’s just one of the things filmmakers correctly foreshadowed about 2015."

"Back to the Future" also imagined a time when glasses could pick up a call.

Michael J. Fox (as Marty Jr.): "Dad, telephone! It’s Needles."

Decades later, the advent of Google Glass.

Michael J. Fox (as Marty McFly): "I need to borrow your … Hoverboard?"

Even Hoverboard prototypes have been floated recently, though not like in the film.

And no one in 1989 saw this coming. 7News got a sneak peak inside the Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach. Here, a futuristic elevator system will soon lift cars  — with passengers inside — up to "sky garages" in the 60-story condo building.

Gil Dezer, Dezer Development: "When you pull into a single-family home with a garage, you’ll pull into the garage, get out of your car and walk into the front door of your house. So we wanted to simulate that exact same experience."

What else can you say but…

Christopher Lloyd (as Doc Brown): "Great Scott!"

For the record, we did not break any speeding laws in our Miami time travels.


Florida Department Of Transportation


Porsche Design Tower