The future of transportation
Although there have been many smaller developments, and numerous aesthetic changes along the way, the face of transportation has looked fairly similar for the past few decades.
Despite promises of hover cars, our roads are still lined with four-wheeled vehicles, trains still run on tracks, and planes are still cramped and noisy. There have been advancements, and in the next few years you can expect to see more driverless cars on the road, while Uber are testing flying taxis.
But what about further down the line? How will we be travelling in 30 years time? Here is what transportation will look like in the year 2050.
Perhaps one of the greatest human innovations, airplanes have allowed humans to take to the sky, bringing the world closer together. It’s hard to feel quite so romantic about planes, however, when you’re stuck on a long-haul flight having your seat kicked by an irritating kid.
By 2050, passengers will be treated to far greater levels of privacy. Planes will be equipped with individual holographic communications and entertainment hubs, created by sonic disruptors embedded in the seats.
These disruptors are designed to block out noise, allowing you to watch films, listen to music, or even chat with friends while flying. If that’s not quite enough, haptic gloves will allow you to shake hands with people anywhere in the world, and you will feel the touch virtually as it happens.
Commuting in cities is also set to undergo some amazing changes, and this is likely to happen sooner than 2050. Within the next ten years, we could be travelling via levitating pods.
This is skyTran, which uses high-speed two-seater pods, to transport passengers using innovative magnetic levitation. Pods will move on guideways that are suspended 20 feet above the ground, and are fully automated. Passengers simply request a pod to and from a specific destination.
Image courtesy of designboom.com
Quicker and cheaper to install than underground metro systems, skyTran also has the potential to be fitted with solar panels, which means they could be self-sustaining, and therefore a highly economical form of transport in busy cities.
This technology is currently being developed at NASA’s California base, with Tel Aviv the first city to sign up to this amazing system.
By 2050, travelling could be out of this world. Literally. The Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation are currently working on a space elevator.
This ambitious plan would allow people to travel into space from a starting point on earth, with an elevator climbing up to an ‘Earth Orbit Station’ at a height of 36,000 km above the earth’s surface.
While technology is not currently advanced enough to make this concept a reality, Obayashi Corporation believe it is entirely feasible in the future. The space elevator would move up a 96,000-km nanotube cable, anchored to the sea floor using a 12,500 ton counter-weight, which would take 20 years to construct! No need to book your tickets just yet then.
If these various developments come to fruition, then the future of transport will look very different by 2050.