Many adults can remember movies like Back to the Future or Star Trek from when they were kids. They may even look back at these movies with fond memories and note that many of the technologies that seemed so impossible in those movies actually exist today. That sentiment leaves many of today’s youth wondering what their old age will be like. How will kids be getting around in ten, twenty, or thirty years? Here are four ways they just might be getting themselves from point A to point B.
The hyperloop1 is the brainchild of Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla. The concept is similar to that of a train, except ten times faster. To make the technology work, a hyperloop between two cities must be created. It is essentially a tube that has been vacuum sealed, and people ride in pods from one end of the loop to another. Because it takes place in a vacuum, it is expected to be able to travel at over 700 mph.
If hyperloops become mainstream, then residents of the future can travel at speeds faster than most planes, and interstate travel can become much simpler. Kids of the future will step into a pod and exit an hour later two states away.
If you have followed hoverboard news at all, then you know there were many issues with the original hoverboards and catching on fire. Fortunately, most of that has been resolved. What is more unfortunate is that what we call hoverboards today actually do no hovering whatsoever.
Fortunately, there are plenty of companies out there pushing for real hoverboards. And, there is a decent list of real hoverboards,2 and the various technologies that they are using to fulfill many people’s sci-fi dreams. They range from hoverbikes to hoverboards that resemble skateboards.
Many people have heard of Google’s smart cars or Tesla’s nearly-smart cars that are already on the roads. These cars have the ability to drive themselves. Most major players in the auto industry are already hard at work with their own version of a smart car.
Many of these auto makers expect to have the vehicles road-ready by 2020.3 This means within three years society can expect smart cars to begin selling to mainstream consumers.
One way smart car technology will change the world is with rentals. Some experts are already envisioning a world where no one owns cars. Imagine just pulling open an app on your phone, saying you need a car, and within ten minutes a completely autonomous smart car has pulled up, and is ready to take you to your destination. When the car needs servicing it will take itself to the auto shop.
Perhaps even more exciting than smart cars are flying cars. Henry Ford himself actually dreamed of a day when cars could fly and everyone could own their own “personal airplane.” Unfortunately, reality was much more complicated when it came to planes, and nothing ever came of it.
Recently a company called Skycar4 has been pushing for flying vehicles. The biggest obstacle to overcome has been a necessary ability for vertical takeoff. If a personal flying vehicle had to have a runway to get into the air it would likely never become mainstream. Fortunately, Skycar claims they have resolved this issue and are currently in the prototype stage.
Whichever technology ends up going mainstream, you can expect that kids of the future will have a much simpler travel experience than those of today. Whether the journey is easier, safer, or faster, it will definitely be an improvement. Some industries will explode with these changes, and others, such as insurance or defensive driving courses may find themselves readjusting or desperately clinging to an old way of life.
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