6 major ways transportation will change by 2045
Transportation has evolved relatively slowly.
Sure, trains and cars have drastically improved since their introduction in the early 19th century. But really, we still rely on these old, albeit modified, forms of transportation.
In the next 30 years, though, we are likely to see more change in transportation technology than we’ve seen in the last 100 years.
Ian Pearson, an engineer and a fellow at the World Academy for Arts and Science, recently told Tech Insider some of the big changes we can look forward to.
The futurologist with an 85% accuracy track record noted that in 10 years time, driverless transportation will be ubiquitous.
But there’s more to look forward to then just driverless transportation. Within the next 30 years, Pearson envisions a future where space travel is common and Hyperloop systems are abundant.
Here’s a look a breakdown of his boldest predictions:
You’ll be able to ride a Hyperloop by 2025
Traveling via Hyperloop will be here before we know it.
In fact, a few start-ups aim to break ground on the Hyperloop, which is a futuristic tubular system that shoots pod-like capsules between destinations at speeds of more than 500 miles per hour, as soon as next year.
California-based startup Hyperloop Technologies is planning on building three hyperloops by 2020 and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies plans on breaking ground on a five-mile test track in 2016.
Pearson said by 2050, Hyperloops will be a pretty normal form of transportation.
Flying cars will exist in the coming years.
Above is a demo of the AeroMobil 3.0, a prototype of a flying car unveiled in Vienna during the Pioneers Festival in 2014.
Pearson points to the success of prototypes such as the AeroMobil 3.0 as signs that flying cars will exist in the future. Pearson declined to give a specific date, noting that we’ve already started seeing prototypes.
However, he said he doesn’t see them becoming a popular form of transit because of safety challenges. The flying cars Pearson envisions will be able to hover above the ground at any altitude, but they won’t zip around like in popular movie depictions.
“There might be some flying cars, but not very many,” he said. “They would have to be self-flying cars, there’s no way ordinary people would fly them.”
People will be driven around in driverless pods by 2025
Pearson said that in 10 years, driverless systems will be ubiquitous, but we’ll have already evolved past self-driving cars.
Pearson said he thinks people will be able to own their own “cheap steel box” and control it themselves using a phone. The boxes Pearson is envisioning will not have wheels, making them even cheaper. He envisions the structure will use a technology that was patented in the early 20th century — magnetic levitation — to propel them.
It will be possible to ride in a hypersonic jet high in the atmosphere by 2040
Hypersonic aircrafts that fly high in the air will exist in 2040, but the cost of riding one will reserve it for the super wealthy.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office actually approved a patent for an airbus that could transport you from London to New York in just one hour.
Super tall buildings will serve as spaceports by 2045
By 2045, there may be buildings constructed of “super-strong carbon-based materials” that are 18 to 24 miles high, Pearson said. And atop these giant structures could be spaceports, Pearson told Tech Insider.
Building launch sites at the top of very tall buildings may sound far-fetched, but Pearson said that as building materials evolve, giant high-rises will be able to support such activity. And as space travel becomes more common, these spaceports could also prove to be a more efficient way of launching spacecraft.
“At height extremes, a London Spaceport is likely by 2045 as the space industry explodes. There is a huge cost advantage going to space from as high a base as possible, so a spaceport is very likely to be over 10 km and even as much as 30 km, using carbon-based materials,” Pearson wrote in a report.
To increase speed, airplanes might not have windows by 2045
Pearson said that airplanes will continue to evolve over the next 30 years to become faster. As a result, it’s likely that windows might start disappearing from airplanes altogether so that planes are stronger and better equiped to handle faster speeds.
Augmented reality will make it possible to entirely replace windows, Pearson said.