How will we be travelling in 10, 20 or 500 years? Will we be flying our cars from Salamanca to New York?
While we imagine, engineers and designers all over the world are testing out what could become the vehicles of the future. Some of them may never exist, but it is fun making predictions about the future. Technological advances have brought transportations usually found in science fiction to life. However, which are the potential solutions?
Currently being developed at NASA, it could be the future of city transportation. Said to move at 240km per hour and using only the amount of energy it takes to power two hairdryers, SkyTran carries passengers in personalised ‘pods’ using magnetic levitation tracks and is designed to have the passenger capacity of a 6-lane highway. (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/how-will-we-travel-in-the-future)
Chinese design students Pan Jiazhi, Zhu Wenxi and Lai Zexin have designed a super sleek solar-powered flying car they’ve called the ‘YEE’ that doesn’t need a runway to take-off. However, if you don’t want to wait for the YEE to become a reality, check out the Transition® Roadable Aircraft, created by US company Terrafugia. If you have about US$200,000 to spare you could own this vehicle soon. (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/how-will-we-travel-in-the-future)
The Hyperloop concept was introduced by prolific inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk in 2012, when he announced engineers from his Tesla and SpaceX companies would begin work on a demonstrator. This promising, high-speed innovation is comprised of reduced-pressure tubes that contain pressurised capsules with the ability to transport passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in a mere 35 minutes at speeds of up to 700mph. The entrepreneur decided to open source the concept to allow others to build on his work, which led to the creation of new businesses and groups dedicated to the advancement of this technology. Richard Branson-backed Virgin Hyperloop One successfully trialled a full-scale prototype of the system in 2017 and hopes to deploy a fully operational system within three years. As current systems have been designed to offer an on-demand service for travellers, capsules will be able to depart every couple of minutes, which is much more regularly than other high-speed rail networks and will reduce waiting times. (https://www.raconteur.net/business-innovation/five-futuristic-transport-modes)
However, do we know what will make the biggest impact on the future of transport?
Shared transport. Why shared transit will have a big impact on the future of transport:
One of the big transport technologies for tomorrow isn’t really a technology, but it’s empowered by tech. Shared transport covers everything from car share, public transport, taxis, ride share, bike share, and carpooling. It helps lower our dependence on private cars, and lower our consumption as a society. The more people sharing their modes of transport, the less vehicles we will need in the first place. Sharing transport also helps changes our perception of transport overall. This model shift is a big focus of modern city planners. That will help reduce traffic and the need for car-only street space. That means more space for people, more liveable cities, and big reductions in carbon emissions. (https://www.goget.com.au/blog/future-transport-trends/)
E-scooter & e-bike share. Why they will change the future:
Trains, buses, and trams are awesome and great ways to move lots of people around. Nevertheless, they can’t always get us exactly where we need to go. Last Mile transport helps get you to those areas. Putting share cars, e-scooters, and e-bikes at transit hubs means people can travel that last mile without having to drive the whole way. For transport in our cities to become as efficient and sustainable as possible, the Last Mile challenge has to be solved. Scooter, bike, and car sharing are all great ways to solve it. Of course, adding an electric motor makes scooters and bikes even more convenient, and people will use it as a result. (https://www.goget.com.au/blog/future-transport-trends/)
In conclusion, new technology over the years has helped us on how we live and for our day to day activities. The transportation industry is one of the important areas where new technological advancement takes place. All the innovations that we have discussed above are not just a form of illusion; they are set to happen within the next coming years. The transport systems of tomorrow will be connected, data-driven, shared, on-demand, electric, and highly automated. Ideas are moving from conception, research and design, testbed to early adoption, and, finally, mass acceptance. According to projections, the pace of innovation is only going to accelerate.