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7 Mind-Blowing Predictions About The Future Of Transportation

Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science fact.

With new and exciting technologies being developed every day, it’s hard not to get pumped for the future. Here are just a few predictions of the future of transport that will blow your mind.

2017 – Spending ages looking for a parking space downtown could become a thing of the past.

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Open-data systems in GPS devices, apps, and built into cars themselves can use public databases to access information about parking spaces in real time. By letting drivers know exactly where and when parking spaces are likely to be free, this technology saves drivers the time they’d usually spend searching for a place to park.

2017 – Your morning commute could come with a view.

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The view on your morning drive might look a whole lot different in the near future. At least it could if the makers of the the latest flying car have their way. Over 20 years in the making, this vehicle is transforming the dream into a reality: a roadworthy and airworthy mode of personal transportation.

Initially concepted back in the 1990s, this flying car is now in its third iteration. Sporting a fine leather interior as well as ballistic parachutes and “pyrotechnic seatbelt technology”, a limited number of prototypes are available for £1.1 million.

2019 – Red stoplights will detect when you're the only person at the intersection and turn green for you.

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The city of Columbus, Ohio, is working towards becoming a Smart City that could change the way we all travel. After winning $40 million as part of the US Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, the city is developing a number of ways to make metropolitan travel easier for its residents.

These developments include self-driving shuttles, motion-sensitive, Wi-Fi-capable LED street lights, and smart traffic signals that aim to reduce congestion and make it easier for first response vehicles to reach their destinations. Proposed for 2019, these changes represent a growing trend in urban planning with cities like San Francisco and Las Vegas rolling out similar initiatives.

2020 – You can accept drone deliveries at night when you're actually home — and get care in the event of a crisis.

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Transport isn’t just about moving people from place to place; it’s also about getting products, goods, and services to the people who need them. Drone technology is working towards making the delivery of goods a whole lot quicker.

Online shopping sites have been testing the capabilities of drone delivery services for a while now, but delivery drones of the future may also have lifesaving applications.

As well as delivering your post, drones might also be used to transport urgently needed medical supplies in emergencies. Experts say that unmanned delivery by drone could be as commonplace as the postman by as early as the year 2020.

2021 – 700mph vacuum tube travel will get you from Amsterdam to Paris in 30 minutes.

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Vacuum tube travel is a proposed transport system that could one day get you from point A to point B at top speeds of 760 mph. The futuristic train would work by propelling pods or containers through a network of tubes that have been pumped into a near vacuum. The train pods would be levitated using magnets or special air jets and travel through the frictionless tubes across incredible distances.

The concept of using air pressure to move transport has been around since at least the 19th century, but a modern functioning system has been under research since 2013. Multiple companies have plans to make it a reality by 2021.

2023 – You won't need to stress about the person tailgating you, because their car will be in control.

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The advent of GPS and car navigation apps gave cars a way of communicating with their drivers, keeping them informed where to go and which routes to avoid. In the future, cars might also communicate with one another. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, or V2V, is a new technology that allows cars to wirelessly share data with each other.

With V2V, cars could one day share vital information like speed and position with surrounding vehicles, making it easier to avoid problems like congestion, reduce the likelihood of dangers like crashes, and potentially improve the environment. In fact, the United States Department of Transportation claims that V2V has the potential to address 80% of multi-vehicle crashes. If certain American legislation passes in 2019, new cars in the US will be required to have V2V as soon as 2023.

2030 – You'll fly through suborbital space on your way from London to New York.

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In the near future, trips across the Atlantic could be made in a new type of hypersonic aircraft called the Paradoxal. Designed to take passengers from London to New York in as little as two hours, this futuristic ship would make its journey via a short trip into suborbital space. On such a journey, passengers would experience weightlessness and be treated to a breathtaking view of the Earth’s curvature. Sounds much more exciting than an inflight film.

Want to learn more? BMW has launched a new website so you can stay up to date on more exciting developments in the future of transportation.