Can you imagine a time when there was no such thing as hybrid cars? Do you remember when self-parking cars were introduced? These inventions have nothing on the transportation innovations we’ll see in the years to come. Here are several remarkable modes of transportation we can look forward to seeing in our future.
1. Hands Free Convenience: Self-Driving Cars
Image via Flickr by David Berkowitz
After a long and tiring day of work, you probably find yourself wishing your car could just do all of the driving for you. Throwing your foot down on the brake every time traffic unexpectedly halts can be exasperating. Changing lanes with no spaces in sight can be pretty frustrating, too.
Introducing Google’s Driverless Car and Ford’s Traffic Jam Assist:
Google’s car has already been in testing with over 300,000 miles of accident-free driving to its name. Due to these early successes, we can be sure this design will be a reality one day.
Ford’s Traffic Jam Assist is a little different in that its focus is on rush hour. Collecting technical information about the car’s distance from other cars around, it keeps the driver at a safe distance and moves the car when the coast is clear.
2. Transcontinental Travel: The “VacTrain”
How wonderful would the world of long distance transportation be if we could take a subway all the way from New York to Los Angeles or from New York to London? Not only would we get to the other side of the country or to another country entirely, we’d get there much faster than any airplane.
Enter the VacTrain. Imagine a subway, but held in a vacuum. With no air resistance holding it back, the Maglev train running inside of the vacuum-like tunnel could travel at speeds of up to 5,000 miles an hour. You could literally live in L.A. and work in New York. Though we shouldn’t expect to see this invention in our lifetime, it’s pretty cool how far science has come in the area of space and travel.
3. Luxury in a Bus: The Super Bus
Image via Wikimedia by TU Delft
If you’re someone who takes the city bus on a regular basis, you’re most likely used to the cramped and noisy conditions.
The Super Bus would satisfy even the discerning commuter. Created in Holland, this concept vehicle would do away with the unappealing aspects of the city bus. Instead of one central aisle and only one way to get on and off, this bus boats over 30 side doors.
No taller than an SUV, the beautifully streamlined Super Bus is made out of composite materials, making it light and fuel-efficient. Designed to leave traffic in the dust, this thing is built for a track which allows it to reach speeds of 155.
4. A Safer and Drier Motorcycle: The Monotracer
Are you someone who loves the idea of jumping on a motorcycle yet too terrified to go through with it? Perhaps you’re a current biker who’d love to see a new twist on the familiar motorcycle. Think about an efficient electric bike that’d provide you safety and along with the luxury of never getting wet from the rain again.
The completely enclosed Monotracer features side “doors” and windows as well as a second set of smaller wheels that extend from the vehicle during slower speeds. Capable of reaching speeds up to 120 miles per hour, you can still enjoy your thrill ride but with the kind of safety traditional bikes can’t offer.
5. Riding Above All: The Sky Tran
Image via Wikimedia by SkyBum
Remember when Disney parks sold cheap tickets and the sky ride was what you looked forward to the most? You zoomed high in the sky, way above heads, small rides, and buildings. You couldn’t believe how quickly you got from one end of the park to the other. What if this transportation wasn’t just for fun anymore?
Sky Tran has been in talks since the early 1990s and looks like something straight out of The Jetsons. The lightweight, two-seater contraption is elevated over magnetic levitation tracks. Its creator, UniMdal Inc., is currently collaborating with NASA to test and develop this sky-high vehicle.
6. Mindful Public Transport: Straddling Busses
Few things in the land of traffic are worse than getting stuck behind a city bus. Too often, you’re looking for every possible chance to switch lanes but find it impossible to escape. It’s the pits. What if there was such a thing as a city bus that allowed traffic to move beneath it?
Presenting the Straddling Bus: (No, not the most elegant name, but amazing nonetheless.) Elevated above the roadway, this public transportation concept would eliminate the inconvenience of the city bus. This bus would roll on stilts using small tracks positioned between lanes of traffic while passengers enter and exit at elevated bus stops. Still in its infant stages of development, it might be a long time until we see this on the road; though plans are already being formed in China out of necessity, due to such large populations.
Envisioning some of these transportation contraptions is rather mind-boggling. Extremely futuristic with some concepts a bit far-fetched, we can see the undeniable potential for the world of trains, planes, and automobiles.