Technology is changing everything in our lives, including transport. Every week there is something in the media about the progress that is being made. With most countries now having a time limit on the use of petrol and diesel cars, finding other modes of transport is a problem that many developers are trying to solve.
Electric Road Vehicles
Electric vehicles for the roads could be one solution, and they are already here. As more charging points are being installed, more people are turning to electric vehicles. They are quieter and more economical. The first best-seller will be the one that comes up with a way of making the charge last a lot longer than they do at the moment.
There has been a race among vehicles makers to be the first to produce a safe self-driving vehicle, and many of them are in the late stages of development. Unfortunately, there have been several high profile crashes that have not inspired the confidence of the public. So far, these crashes have involved self-drive cars, but how much worse could they have been if the self-drive vehicle is a bus, for example, like the one Mercedes are developing.
Taking to the sky’s to get out of the heavy traffic in the big cities is a dream many people have when they are sitting in the rush hour each morning. Several solutions are being offered for this one, including the Volante Vision Concept being developed by Cranfield Aerospace in partnership with Rolls Royce and Aston Martin. Flying cars is another option, although the development of those is in its very early stages. Toyota is just one of the companies looking at this possibility.
Monorails are not a new technology, but the autonomous SkyTran is. It can cut a two-hour car journey to just 10 minutes because of its 155 mph capabilities. This high=tech system will predict where and when extra pods are needed and will make sure they are there at that time. Using it is easy too. You just go to a station, punch in the destination you want to reach and it assigns you to a pod that is heading there.
Unlike railways stations, the stations needed for SkyTran are quite small, so building plenty of them will not be such a huge challenge.
Hyperloops are still a dream at the moment but there are two companies racing to be the first success with them. They involve pods traveling through tunnels by speed as much as 500mph. They will make travel quicker, more efficient and as they will be in an enclosed environment, will not have delays caused by the weather.
Reusable rockets have attracted much media attention in the last few months, but as yet it is not certain how many people would actually use them. Elon Musk has said he wants to use them to land people on Mars in just 9 years time, but at the moment there is some doubt if people will want to travel on the first few. They need to see they are safe first of all, and that they are not just abandoned on Mars.
These are just some of the likely vehicles for the future. There will no doubt be many more, some we will love and some we ill hate, but that will not stop the developers from having a go.