The Future of Transportation Is Straight Out of Science Fiction
Personal space travel? Self-driving cars? Helicopter taxis? The future of transportation is upon us, and it reads like a science fiction novel.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Why do people like science fiction? It's because all good science fiction asks one simple, but fundamental question - what does it means to be human?
But readers of sci-fi also enjoy the genre's cool, high-tech gadgets. And although fiction is supposedly make-believe, ideas sparked while reading sci-fi has a real impact on the world.
Science fiction really does influence our future.
Believe it or not, science fiction has an uncanny ability to help us predict and create the future. Recent research from MIT suggests that today's scientist's design with science fiction books in mind. Inventors of today gather inspiration from science fiction, and this influences the products they strive to create.
Nowhere is this clearer than in the transportation industry where new technologies, such as driverless cars, personal space travel and flying taxi's, are now in production. It's unclear exactly how the transportation industry will shift over the coming decades, but one thing is for sure - the way we get around is about to change.
Sci-Fi technologies are about to become the new normal.
The future of transportation might sound like science fiction, but it will soon be our reality.
Here are 5 new transportation methods under development that will drastically alter our world.
- Hyperloops - Based on a concept developed by Elon's Musk, the company Hyperloop One intends to send passengers through a frictionless to travel above or below ground at 700 mph. While current hyperloop tests have only reached around 200 mph, the state of Missouri has partnered with Hyperloop to design a route between St. Louis and Kansas City.
- Flying Taxi's - With the investment in flying taxi prototypes from companies such as Google, Uber, and German-based Volocopter, everyday air travel could be available sooner rather than later in our future. Uber's aerial taxi project, called Elevate, hopes to have flying taxis in Los Angeles by 2020.
- Drone Deliveries - Forget a UPS truck showing up in your driveway. In the future packages might be delivered to your house by drones. To explore the use of drone delivery, the Federal Aviation Administration has partnered with private companies, such as Apple, Uber, Microsoft, and others, to conduct a three-year commercial drone pilot program.
- Driverless Cars - There is already lots of competition in the driver-less car space, including big automakers like Ford that plan to have fully autonomous vehicles in operation by 2021. Forget about driving. In the future, your car will drive for you.
- Personal Space Travel - Soon, astronauts won't be the ones going to space. Private like Space X, Virgin Galactic, Boeing and Blue Origin are working to build spaceships to bring tourists and astronauts to the stars.
Are we on our way to becoming The Jettson's?
Think of the future for a second; people traveling in hyperloops between cities, ordering flying taxies with an app, drones crisscrossing through the air delivering packages, roads filled with driverless cars, and hitching a ride to space, well, just because we can.
And my generation thought cell phones were a breakthrough. What our kids will see will be nothing less than miraculous. What we first thought of as science fiction is quickly becoming our reality.