In 2030, driverless technologies have ascended from luxury to law. With the passage of the Autonomous Vehicles Act of 2025, all vehicles must conform to the latest technological standards and are operated through an elaborate sequencing system known as “the grid.”
The result is a society free of accidents, the roads no longer made unsafe by impaired or distracted drivers because the vehicles drive themselves, each one plugged into the grid. An epidemic has been cured, or so it seems.
But for every new technology, there is someone looking to exploit it. The grid is not as impenetrable as its creators had guaranteed, and one night the vehicles stop dead in their tracks, stranding millions. The queue sequencing system, a GPS-like device into which travelers enter their destinations, is not functioning properly. And the vehicle assistance technicians (vats) are nowhere to be found.
Gridlocked follows three pairs of travelers as they try to make it home on foot. When they realize that communications are also down, it becomes increasingly apparent that this is not a random malfunction. Someone has sabotaged both the grid and communications systems, leaving people with no way to call for help.
What will the travelers discover when they finally reach home? And who is behind the crisis? The answer extends far beyond what any of them imagined.