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Innovation

The Future of Transportation

The world is turning into a global community in an incredible speed. Through the cheap access to different means of transportation, we can meet people from all over the world and visit any place we like. Cars and planes have opened up to many new possibilities, but at the same time, few things produce as much emissions than cars and airplanes do. Electrical cars are gaining popularity, but there is still a lot that can be improved.

Luckily, the trends emerging for the future of transportation look promising. Experts predict that transportation will become increasingly electrical, automated and shared, meaning less CO2-emissions, fewer accidents and fewer cars on the streets. This would relieve a lot of the pressure on the climate.

Maybe you’ve already heard about a California-based startup Aptera Motors, who is currently working on a futuristic solar electric vehicle. The car which looks like a batmobile draws its energy from the most abundant source of energy — the sun. It’s a three-wheel, ultra-aerodynamic electric vehicle covered in 34 sq feet of solar cells.

Cars, trucks and airplanes are not the only means of transportation, though, and hopefully in the future, other ways of delivery and transportation will become part of our daily lives. Already now, Amazon is working on building a network of drones that can deliver the orders of their customers. Robots might start carrying our things, so we feel less inclined to go grocery shopping by car. And once we live in smart cities where everything is connected via the internet, all of these devices – cars, robots, drones – will have access to all the data they need in order to move around the cityscape quickly, safely and efficiently.

Will we soon have flying cars?

Let’s be honest, the real question is: Will we soon have flying cars? Well, actually, it might not take many more years before flying cars are an every day sight in South Korea. In Seoul, they are currently testing unmanned flying taxis, and the development already looks great. Soon you might be able to fly home in a human-sized drone after a fun night in the city.

Yet, as if that wasn’t enough, other means of transportation are also emerging. One of them is being built by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk. Apart from producing smart cars and reusable rocket ships, Musk is also working on building hyperloop intra-city transit systems with his company The Boring Company. The plan is to drill tunnels beneath major cities and install highspeed hyperloop trains that can transport people from one end of the city to the other at 1,200 km/h. It might not be flying cars, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless.

Another means of transportation that is likely to be introduced in the near future are personal transportation pods. Segway has released a pod that isn’t unlike those used by humans in WALL-E. It can carry people around smoothly and comfortably, while being a lot smaller and more flexible than a car.

Courtesy of Segway

With these you would be as mobile as on a bike, but in a way that’s accessible to anyone.

Accessibility of Transportation

Which brings us to the last point to be made about the future of transportation: Accessibility. The goal must be to make transportation easy to use for everyone and perhaps even use new transportation systems to give more mobility to those who have lacked it so far. If cars become fully automated, disabilities will no longer matter if you want to drive around, and if robots can carry us and our things, a lot more freedom is given to a broader segment of the population. The elderly who are too old to drive cars and bikes can take a seat in a Segway pod and be driven to any destination they wish. And those with less mobility (pregnant women, people in wheelchairs, and physically weak people) can receive the support they need without losing their freedom and independency.

More sustainable, more equal, and more epic. That’s how the future of transportation looks.

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