How Technology Will Change Transport in the Next Few Decades
We’ve seen a lot of exciting new technology demoed in the last several years from virtual reality headsets, to augmented reality glasses, to phones with flexible displays. All of this paints a picture where we are constantly in communication with one another, constantly connected to the cloud, and all the information we could ever need is at our fingertips.
This is exciting, but it’s really only one facet of technology. Just important is looking at how technology is going to impact other areas of our lives – including things like transport. What new developments are going to affect the way you get to and from work for instance? Or the way you go on holiday?
Let’s take a look at what the future might hold for fans of ‘getting around’.
As technology has improved, the world has become noticeably smaller as we’ve been able to more easily communicate with others around the world and to more easily get to them by hopping on a plane.
You can expect this to continue. Flights will continue to get cheaper and will continue to be easier to organise. Likewise though we’ll also be able to communicate across the gap in more exciting ways – in ‘virtual’ conference rooms for example.
But more exciting is the fact that we’ll soon be able to go places where we actually couldn’t before if we have the funds and the sense of adventure. Richard Branson is currently about to take the first commercial flight into space with Virgin Galactic, and it wasn’t long ago that James Cameron travelled to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
Cheaper and Greener
Most of us aren’t going to be flying into space realistically in the next decade though (although it’s sure to be more affordable by then). What’s going to affect us instead is the way we travel on a regular basis – and by 2024 that might well mean using an electric car. They’ve seen slow adoption so far yes, but later developments have resulted in more affordable models and a more complete network of stations where you will be able to charge your batteries. They’re gaining market share and there are several incentives to owning one, so perhaps we’ll all be charging our cars instead of filling them in that time frame?
Image Source: Pixabay
What you might also see is an increase in smaller, more compact modes of transport designed for city dwellers. With more and more people living in large cities, congestion and pollution are increasingly serious issues.
Many solutions have thus been proposed, many of which involve riding in some small kind of ‘pod’ device that’s powered electrically and that allows you to weave between traffic and drive on the pavement. Many have suggested that these vehicles could be borrowed and then returned at the end of the day in much the same way that some cities in Europe and elsewhere loan out bicycles.
Speaking of bicycles, human-powered transport is something else we might see more of in future. Of course that doesn’t necessarily require breakthroughs in technology, but as the means for cheap and compact travel increases and more and more people get hold of engineering tools they can use to develop their own inventions, it probably won’t be long before we start seeing new machinery rivalling bicycles – as well of course as changes to our existing fixed gear bikes that are becoming more popular in urban areas.
Don’t believe that there’s anything that can be added in the ‘man-powered vehicles’ industry? Well that’s probably what they thought recently until ‘Powerbocks’ were released and gave people the ability to run at 30 miles an hour.
Computers are already finding themselves more and more at home in our cars and sat navs, gesture controls and voice activation are all common. As this progresses though, we’ll eventually get to the point where computers can completely take over the process of driving for us. Google have already demonstrated how self-driving cars can safely travel huge distances with fewer accidents than human drivers – and the implications for how this would change society could be huge. Driver-less taxis? Check… No age restrictions on driving? It’s certainly possible!