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Monday, June 19, 2017

How we will travel in the future - an outlook


Maria Miller - By 2050, travelling will be revolutionised by hypersonic jets, driverless cars, and space travel. Delve into the future of travel and see what’s in store.


Exploring the Future of Travel
With artificial intelligence and virtual reality quickly taking over, the future certainly seems bright for the integration of technology into our daily lives. However, there is yet another area in which the latest tech advancements can improve our world, and it has nothing to do with VR gaming or AI chatbots!

The way we travel is set to change drastically over the next few decades, with legendary experts like Elon Musk at the helm of the evolution. From airports to public transport and even effortless outer space travel, tech enthusiasts should watch this space to see how easy and environmentally friendly it’s becoming to get to your final destination.

Airports in the Future

Airports have always been a hub of activity for travellers, and in just a few short years many of them will be receiving futuristic upgrades to make travelling safer and easier than it’s ever been before. As well as the possibility of biometric check-in systems, automated luggage, augmented reality airport guides and electric shuttles, even our planes will be receiving various upgrades. The concept of hypersonic jets never died after the Concorde was decommissioned in 2003, but now a new supersonic plane design – the Zero Emission Hypersonic Transport jet – was revealed by EADS at the 2011 Le Bourget air show.

This plane isn’t set to hit the market until 2050, but when it does, it will boast exceptional speeds (over four times the speed of sound!) thanks to eco-friendly ramjets and rocket boosters instead of traditional engines. It even promises travel times of under three hours from London to Tokyo!

According to Airbus, airplanes of the future may also employ multiple decks, panoramic windows for 360 degree views, massage seats, individual climate control and entertainment hub settings, and even pop-up pods for passengers who want some privacy.

Public Transportation Speeded Up

Elon Musk is currently at the forefront of Hyperloop, a brand new public transportation system. The system that Musk has proposed is essentially a closed network of tubes that would propel pressurised travel capsule on pillows of air through the use of linear induction motors. The innovator hopes that these travel capsules will be a massive evolution for public transportation, being able to move at almost three times the speed of sound and transporting commuters in a fraction of the time of a typical subway train or taxi. A Hyperloop test track is currently being built in California, and if successful, could be all over the world by 2050.

Chinese engineers are also in the process of developing a concept train that never stops running, which could reduce travel times considerably. The train would use modular capsules which detach and re-attach at each station while letting the locomotive’s main body continue running without even slowing down!

Driverless Cars Could Take Over

Driverless cars are capable of saving trillions of dollars each year while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, parking demand, traffic, insurance costs, and fatalities from car accidents. Driverless vehicles like the Tesla self-driving car could eliminate traffic accidents by up to 90% as they remove the factor of human error.

Additionally, driverless cars will be cheaper to operate, and by 2025, they’re expected to be all over the world with NVIDIA, Audi and Ford launching their own models by just 2021. The same technology is already being implemented on a larger scale by certain airports too, at which driverless electric pods or shuttles have replaced traditional buses and have already generated profits within their first year of operation.

Space Travel and Tourism Could Go Mainstream

There are many innovations currently being explored when it comes to the possibility of space travel. Elon Musk is again among the engineers with his SpaceX programme, and Japanese company Obayashi intends to create the very first space elevator by 2050. The elevator will string a powerful cable spanning 60,000 miles between a space station orbiting the Earth and the Earth itself. Obayashi expects the elevator to move at a relaxed pace of 124 miles per hour, which translates to a week of travel to deliver the 30 passengers to the space station.

Talks of space tourism are also abuzz, with Virgin Galactic and the Russian government both currently working on the possibility of space tourism initiatives on a grand scale.

The future of travel looks exciting and with so many new innovations set to launch by 2050, we can only wait and see how they work out.

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