Forced to leave into spacetime, humans always tried to improve the way of moving around. Since the invention of the wheel we travelled quite a distance, however transportation technology is progressing much slower than other sciences. Nowadays most of existing transports are still fossil powered or rely on limited energy sources.
Nevertheless great concepts have been developed around the idea of personal freedom and control, new ways to disconnect vehicles from the ground, expand explorable areas and reduce time-traveling distances. Below a selection of nine enthralling and striking concepts.
The famous levitating skate board you saw in "Back to the Future" has finally been invented! Hendo Hoverboard is the first two feet jump against gravity, Tony Hawk already made a go for it, your turn to take a flying-ride over your favorite hoverpark.
2. Jet Pack
Used for astronauts extra-vehicular activities in the space, jet packs challenge Earth's atmosphere allowing multiple direction freedom to a personal transportation. Will this single user propelled vehicle become popular transforming us into a swarm of buzzing humans hovering around like insects?
3. Autonomous Cars, Smart Delivery Trucks and Workpods
Capable of driving without human input, autonomous vehicles can sense the environment and ride safe around the city.
Three different vibrant concepts were developed by the innovative design firm IDEOSmart Family Cars connected to your digital agenda know where you want to go before you do; Self Driving Delivery Trucks are high efficient automated couriers that drives around and drops-off your package after scanning your face; and Work On Wheels Pod brings your working space with you while moving to different appropriate locations.
IDEO affirms: "As we move from struggling with today’s inefficient relationship between cars and infrastructure to one empowered by automobility, new capacities and better use of our existing resources will emerge. Daily commutes will improve in ways that allow us to accomplish so much more, making the slow seem fast."
4. Windowless Plane
How about making a flight less boring with a 360° panoramic view of the external scenery? Design company Technicon Design conceptualized a plane with external cameras that capture the surrounding and project it on high-res screen from passenger point of view, making the walls looking completely transparent. Thanks to windows removal, the plane gets lighter and reduces fuel consumption.
Get ready for a close look on a real storm or eventually see some fake UFOs hacked by a joker passenger.
5. Personal Air Vehicle
Where's my flying car? We saw them in fiction movies and dreamed about them all the time, aerial vehicles represents the next level of personal freedom in the sky.
Despite technical challenges and low feasibility, several concepts were developed, different prototypes were realized and some of them worked out. AeroMobil 3.0 and TF-X™ from Terrafugia both make use of existing infrastructures for automobiles and planes.
6. Personal Submarine Vehicle
From the blue sky to the blue marine, another mysterious domain to explore and desirable area to conquer. If you want to take a ride under the sea in total private autonomy, a self-propelled submarine vehicle is what you need!
Despite deluxe private submarines and luxurious yachts with undersea basements, will private underwater transportation become accessible to everyone one day? EGO-Compact Semi Submarine from Ego inc. does not dive, but offers a pleasant way to snorkel around while comfortably sitting inside a submerged capsule.
7. Hyperloops and Vactrains
There is no future for friction. Train-capsuled vehicles will run fast as rockets into pressurized tubes.
Conceptualized by Elon Musk, the Hyperloop is suspended on air cushion and propelled by induction motors and air compressor. Running at 1,220 km/h it could cover LA-San Francisco in only 35 minutes.
Vactrain uses magnets to levitates into vacuumed tubes, the absence of air resistance makes it 5-6 times faster than sound speed. Traveling under the ocean from London to New York in less than one hour? Channel Tunnel 2.0 here we come!
8. Space Elevator
Imagine launching yourself into deep space just taking the lift. Proposed as type of space transportation system, the space elevator consists of a 96,000-km carbon nanotube cable attached to the planetary surface and extended into space, where vehicles attached to the cord travel from a ground base station into the orbit.
This ambitious project triggered minds of many artists and designers that developed incredibly ingenious concepts.
So get ready, cause there is no need to wait light-years to see this coming, Japanese construction firm Obayashi Corp announced that they'll have a space elevator operational in 2050!
The ultimate transportation is moving without traveling. There is no need to cover distances when it is possible to transfer matter and energy from one point to another without traversing the physical space between them.
With the Internet we are able to reduced gaps between digital information, but will we ever be ready to clear-cut all distances between everything? Beam me up, Scotty!
Sources: Da Vinci Institute, Wired, Designboom, Discovery News