The world’s population is growing everyday, which means that there are more commuters who need to get around.
The increase in commuters will make gridlockin urban areas much worse, and will also put a lot of pressure on aging and outdated publictransit systems.
Not to mention, it could be devastating tothe environment.
To combat the growing problem, new, inexpensive, and innovative forms of transportation are going to be needed.
While self-driving cars are expected to becomethe norm in about 25 years, what other forms of transportation will we be using? 10.
Drone Train In his video, designer Dahir Insaat showshow a large drone tethered to a track would be a cheap and eco-friendly way to transportlots of people.
Insaat doesn’t give many details about hissystem, but claims that it can all be made with current technology and would be environmentallyfriendly.
Besides being a tethered drone, somethingelse that stands out about the design is the inside of the drone where the passengers areheld.
It looks more like a bar and restaurant thana cramped train or airplane.
And if you had to travel over a long distance, which would you rather choose? 9.
Lopifit If our ancestors knew that we had machinesthat allowed us to run or walk in one spot, they would probably laugh at us (but hopefullyif you time travel and meet your ancient ancestors, the treadmill isn’t the topic you lead with).
Trying to remedy the ridiculousness of treadmillsand turn them into functional modes of transportation is the Dutch company Lopifit.
The Lopifit is a scooter-type vehicle thatutilizes a battery and is powered by someone walking on a treadmill.
The battery range is 34 miles and its topspeed is about 15 miles per hour, which is faster than the average speed of a bicycle.
It has six gears, can climb hills and evenhas interchangeable wheels for off road excursions.
One Lopifit will set you back 1, 899 Euros($2, 100 USD).
Quadrofoil There’s a saying about boats: they’reholes in water that you dump money into.
They are hard to maintain and most of themaren’t exactly energy efficient, meaning they’re expensive to drive as well.
For these reasons, boats like the Quadrofoilmay become more popular in the future.
The two passenger boat has an all-electricmotor and from one charge, it has a 60 mile range.
The boat uses hydrofoil technology, whichmeans it uses special vanes, or wings, that push it out of the water, which cuts downon resistance and makes the boat go faster.
In the case of the Quadrofoil, that’s about21 knots (about 18 MPH).
The boat is almost silent and can be usedin environmentally protected sanctuaries.
If you want one, it costs about $18, 700 fora baseline model.
The Shweeb Bicycles are great for getting around, butthey do have a few downsides.
Once you get somewhere, you have to lock itup, then you have to find some place to store your helmet.
Not to mention the contemptuous relationshipbetween cyclists and drivers and how many people are killed and injured every year whileriding a bike.
For these reasons, the future of cycling maybe something like The Shweeb, which is a human-powered monorail.
The system uses aerodynamic pods in a tubethat hang from low resistance tracks.
By just pedaling, most riders reach 28 MPH, and up to five cars can be linked together.
A proof of concept was built at an amusementpark in New Zealand and the designer says that they could be easily and inexpensivelyexpanded to cities.
Since they are powered by humans, there wouldbe a minimal carbon footprint.
Now, we just need to do something about thatridiculous name and we’re all set.
cTrain Boston boasts a population of over 667, 000people and is one of the major tourist cities in the United States.
That means when there is an event or bad weather, the city can become nightmarishly gridlocked.
Their transit infrastructure is also badlyout of date and to get moderate upgrades, it is going to cost the city $7.
Of course, Boston isn’t alone in this andcities across the world are struggling with gridlock and aging and inadequate public transitsystems.
However, we use Boston as the example, becausea transit designer in Boston has a way to alter the Massachusetts Bay TransportationAuthority for a measly $2.
Emil Jacob’s idea is to replace all thebuses, subways, and commuter rail with elevated electric street cars.
The cTrain, which is short for CaterpillarTrain, would use narrow cable-like rail lines that are elevated about two stories over theroad.
The system would run cars on top of the track, while other cars hang below, meaning two trains could use the track at the same time.
A 40-foot train car could run on the sameamount of power required to operate three golf carts and it could travel at speeds of50 to 100 MPH.
Besides just being cheaper to install insteadof upgrading, the cTrain would be less expensive to operate and it would be much more environmentallyfriendly.
3D Express Coach If you hate traffic, you might want to avoidChina.
It’s already home to the world’s longesttraffic jam (it was 62 miles long and lasted for 12 days) and 14 million new cars are boughtthere every year.
China’s population is also expected to increaseby over 100 million people over the next 15 years – meaning the Chinese government willreally need to think outside the box if they want to keep their citizens moving withoutpoisoning everyone.
One proposal is the 3D Express Coach thatwas first unveiled by the Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Company in 2010.
The vehicles, which can carry 300 people, span the whole road and on both sides of the double lane road are tracks.
This would allow the bus to travel over thecars, which would have a twofold effect.
The first is that it removes buses from theroad, which would alleviate traffic.
Secondly, by avoiding traffic and going aboveit, the 3D Express Coach can keep to their schedule, making them more reliable.
Test tracks for the Coach Express are setto be laid in China in 2016.
The Horizon System An interesting, but far out way to travellong distances is the Horizon System, which was developed by a group of Scottish students.
How it works is that you arrive at the airportsof the future, which they call SkyStations.
They will be placed throughout the citiesand equipped with restaurants, bars, and an augmented reality mall.
Which we guess is a thing that might existat some point? Once your SkyLink pod arrives, you board it, and you can go to another SkyStation nearby, or if you have a longer distance to travel, your pod will meet up with other pods on a specialized airstrip.
Then, a drone will swoop down and, using powerfulmagnets, the SkyShip will pick up your pod like an “Eagle catching its prey.
” This recharges the SkyShips’ battery, whichallows the SkyShips to always be running.
After picking up the pods, the SkyShip willstart to climb.
Once it reaches a certain elevation, the podswill open up and you’ll be able to leave your seat.
When you reach your destination, the SkyShipwill drop off your pod at the airstrip and it will take you to the nearest SkyStation.
Of course, there is a long way to go beforewe have drones that can pick up trains, but the Horizon System shows what exciting thingsmay come with advancements in transportation.
skyTran Bordering the line between transportationand amusement park ride is NASA’s skyTran.
The system uses rocket shaped cars that holdfour people and hang from a cable.
Using electromagnets, each car can reach 60MPH, but they only use one-third of the energy of a hybrid car.
To install a skyTran system, it would costa city $8 million per a kilometer and then it’s $25, 000 to $30, 000 per car, which isrelatively cheap compared to the alternatives.
For example, it costs anywhere from $100 millionto $2 billion to build one kilometer of an underground system.
Another bonus is that the skyTran can be setup in a matter of days, instead of months or years.
The electromagnets also mean that it usesless energy, making the cars cheaper to run.
SkyTran would be a personal transit systemwhere electricity isn’t relied on.
Currently, skyTran is being tested in TelAviv, Israel.
If the tests are successful, three other citiesin Israel and several in the United States will be installing skyTran systems in 2018.
Passenger Drones Flying cars may look cool in movies like BladeRunner, but there are some serious problems with them.
For example, if you get into a fender benderor your flying car stalls in the sky, it could be a lot more serious than having a head-oncollision on the ground.
Plus, instead of just a driver’s license, people would also need a pilot’s license, which would be much harder to get becauseflying is obviously more complicated than driving.
And if you’ve done some driving in a citywith a lot of traffic, you know that many people should have never been granted theirdriver’s license (Toronto, we’re looking in your direction), so why would anyone riskusing a flying car? Tackling many of these potential problemsis EHang Inc.
, a Chinese drone company.
At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, theyunveiled the 184, a personal autonomous aerial vehicle, which is the world’s first passengerdrone.
It’s a single person drone that uses eightpropellers and goes 1, 000 to 1, 650 feet off the ground, but it has a maximum altitudeof 11, 500 feet .
It has a top speed of 62 MPH, and it can carry 264 pounds.
The biggest limitation is that it can onlykeep a passenger airborne at sea level for 23 minutes and it takes two hours to chargeit.
The controls for flying one are Idiocracy-typeeasy.
There are two commands that can be controlledon a tablet: take off, and land.
Once the drone is in the air, it will guideitself to your destination and land safely on its own.
The EHang is expected to go on sale laterin 2016 with a price tag between $200, 000 and $300, 000.
Evacuated Tube Transport An interesting thing about air is that whilewe can’t feel it while we are standing still or moving slowly, the faster you move, themore air resistance you meet, and the more it slows you down.
However, if there was no air, we could movearound much more freely.
Of course if there was no air we’d all die, but that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, a lack of air resistance is the ideabehind evacuated tube transport, which would use frictionless vehicles in an airless ornear airless tube.
One example of an evacuated tube transportsystem is Elon Musk’s Hyperloop.
The Hyperloop removes most of the air froma steel tube, and then cars are pushed using a tiny amount of air compression.
Musk proposed that the first Hyperloop wouldconnect Los Angeles to San Francisco, a distance of about 380 miles.
The passenger cars could leave every 10 secondsand they could reach 760 MPH, meaning the trip would be done in half an hour (whereasby car, it would be about a six hour drive).
The cost of the Hyperloop is $6 billion, whichsounds like a lot of money.
However, California is already building amuch-delayed, high speed train, and it’s costing them ten times more with a price tagof at least $64 billion.
Then when it is done, it will only go 220MPH – not nearly as fast as the Hyperloop.
Musk has already raised $120 million in investormoney and wants to have the system carrying passengers by 2021.
Beyond California, another company calledET3 wants to use the same principle and have frictionless trains that travel from continentto continent.
Their vacuum tube uses electromagnets andcars would carry six people, reaching speeds of 4, 000 MPH, which is more than five timesfaster than the current land speed record.
However, due to the way the car increasesits velocity, passengers inside never feel like they are going faster than a sharp turnin a car.