There is nothing new about predicting the future of transport. We have been dreaming of cooler ways of getting around since we could walk. Leonardo Da Vinci predicted and even designed flying machines and helicopters. If anyone with an interest in transport wondered when the future would arrive, the truth is it is already here and happening. Here are a few thoughts on how tech and general geekiness is already driving us around.
Re-inventing the car.
The cars we were driving around until recently were essentially unchanged from fifty or even seventy years ago. The last few years have seen all that turned on its head. Electric powered vehicles have revolutionised how we think about the petrol engine in particular. Major car manufacturers such as BMW have invested heavily in technology. They have produced super cars such as the i8. Essentially this has the performance of some of the fastest cars on the road. It is is powered by the combination of an electric motor and a relatively small 1.5-litre engine. All electric cars are becoming commonplace, and recharging stations are springing up everywhere. It will soon be common to see electric vans delivering goods and services.
Something in the air.
From drone technology to reinventions of the helicopter it is now possible to get around in surprising ways. Both jet packs and autogyros are now feasible ways to getting somewhere fast. True they might seem a little outlandish and James Bond style. The expense might be an issue, but it is possible to get a DIY kit and build your own version. Finding a space to land in town could be a problem. Nevertheless, the tech is here to make these modes of transport a reality.
Hoverboards have the be the ultimate geek mode of transport. Segways and the like are here to stay. In spite of getting thumbs down from most public authorities, they are proving to be massively popular. A whole industry is springing up based on the notion that being propelled around on a self-balancing board is a lot of fun. Off road versions are being developed, and it may be that real ‘back to future’ style boards are not far away. Futuristic transport ideas are alive, well and thriving all around us. Unicycles, for example, have become hi-tech and self-balancing as well as being fitted with motors. It is even possible to get self-propelling shoes that take the effort out of walking. They are powered by a battery belt worn around the waist.
Two wheeled specials.
Everything that gets us around is getting a tech makeover. The bicycle for example is constantly being re-invented. Electric bicycles are proving to be a bit hit. Traditional built bicycles are lighter stronger and more hi tech that ever. You can get bicycles that fold up into the size of one wheel. Scooters have been wi-fi enabled and fitted with sat nav.
With driverless cars already a reality, it is true to say the future is here. It is also thriving and in terms of geeks, we are very definitely going places in new and exciting ways.