The recent years have got the most influential individuals in the world speaking and taking action about creating new sustainable and more efficient ways to move around Planet Earth. With a now out-of-control increase in human population, worldwide trading volume, new types of industries opening up, it's no wonder why. Because of this, few questions come into our mind:
■ How long can we keep this pace before our beloved and delicate planet ecosystem will be irremediably compromised, and reach the point of no return?
■ How can we make transportation have a 0 impact towards our environment?
■ How can we move things and people from point A to point B faster than ever?
An answer to all this might be the development of worldwide infrastructure characterised by a low impact on environment. However, it comes without saying that it is no easy task. The current solutions play a major role towards climate issues, with never-registered-before peaks of greenhouse emissions, environmental catastrophes such as fuel leaks in ocean waters, deforestation to foster urban development and furniture enterprises, and the increasing footprint of the mankind towards other animal species - you name a few.
■ To put an end to the global issues, and to open new commercial commuting explorations routes, governments around the world are setting out timelines and programmes, to make the green and transportation revolution begin. One of these is the Paris Treaty, where an alliance of 197 countries signed to make their own efforts. Few noteworthy individuals and governments are also taking the lead in the R&D and production of new commuting prototypes.
Let's take a look at some of the most ambitious projects that might reshape the future of transport sooner rather than later.
1. Commercial Space Tourism Shuttle
Companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are taking a bold approach in trying to define new compelling ways to seamlessly bring the human species into outer space for tourism purposes. And, if this one day becomes mainstream, there will definitely be many out there interested in having a space ride. That will translate into a giant leap forward for our technological progress, and for new exciting entertainment approaches. Who wouldn't become thrilled by getting to admire his best ever starry night from up-close? That's the lifelong dream of many.
However, it might take a few years before this could happen. It is estimated that, by early 2022, a few tests with a small number of passengers on board will be taken to determine at what stage we're at exactly. We might not expect regular space commutes before at least 2030. Other companies instead, like Space Adventures, are already offering multiple-day itineraries around the low Earth orbit.
2. From road transports to air transports
Perhaps some of the hottest current tech innovations revolve around flying vehicles and air transportation related endeavors. Yes, Blade Runner's Spinner is set to become reality sooner than expected. Enterprises and individual projects alike are experimenting with drone taxis/cars/buses, flying motorbikes, jetpacks, and levitating train prototypes. Hyperloops tests are being conducted all over the world, and, should they be introduced to mass, they could mark the beginning of a new transportation era, by dramatically reducing ,or even halving commuting times, and improving performance efficiency.
Large corporations like Uber and Hyundai are betting and pouring billions of dollars in flying prototypes research and development - with demo flights happening in large cities. Smaller startups like Volocopter and cities like Dubai are also in the front line of the new transit reshaping journey.
3. The supersonic flight comeback
There's a good news for frequent air travelers and people who need to regularly hop on a commercial flight for work or leisure purposes. It seems that rumors of a possible supersonic air travel experience making a comeback are true - and that may be not a thing of the past sooner than later. Gone are the days where a Concorde commute could get you to cross the Atlantic in less than 3 hours.
After the Paris disaster, which costed 113 passengers their lives, the project was scraped, and, ever since then, we're stuck in boring "slow" long-hauls commutes between two points of the globe. To make things more complicated, regulations around the world also limit how much noise can be made near airport populated areas. Thus, circumstances of sonic boom are also forbidden. Efforts to double, triple or even quadruple transit speeds are being made to achieve a breakthrough. Aerion Supersonic,in particular, promises that commercial mach-4 flights will be a thing of the near future. Only time will tell. If this is the case, Californian will be able to cross the Pacific and be in Tokyo for their Japanese holidays in less than 3 hours.
4. Hybrid all-terrain vehicles
Smaller experiments with hypothetical all-in-one air-terrain-water vehicles are being carried out, that promise to do it all. That's the case for example of the Russian inventor Alexander Begak, who set out to build an all-in-one car for the most reckless and adventure seekers. The Evolution will in fact allow its driver (or pilot, if that's the case) to literally explore anywhere, without any natural bounds. For about 100.000 USD, you get your hands on it and live in the future, and forget about us commuters of the Prehistory. Even though most of them are just plain prototypes, that's not to say that it can become the new normal in a nowhere far future. And, if we're blessed enough to get to see it, we can experience one of the most remarkable revolutions since hundreds of years.
How do you believe that the next generation of transportation will look like? One thing's for sure: it will forever change the way we interact within our planet boundaries.
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