The Hyperloop is one of the most exciting innovations in transportation. The technology comprises of nearly airless tubes which will allow trains to travel at speeds up to 1287 kilometres per hour. Or said in other words, it will permits permit people or goods to be hauled from Los Angeles to San Francisco (distance of 614 kilometres) in an estimate of 30 minutes. The Hyperloop is still in its development stage but specialists believe that it will be introduced after 2020. The main advantage of this technology is that it is much cheaper than the Maglev which will make long distance transportation even more affordable.
This technology has been in development for quite a while and even has been applied on small and heavy duty vehicles such as bicycles, motorized gold carts, riding lawn mowers and backhoes as they are much more resilient to rigid terrains. Airless tires are also known as non-pneumatic tires (NPT) and aren't still mass produced as they can have a higher rolling resistance and provide less suspension. However the main advantage of the NPT is that they cannot go flat, allow the transportation of heavily loads and don't need to be changed as often as traditional tires. Today, some of the world's largest tire manufacturers such as Michelin, Crocodile Tyres, Bridgestone, Hankook Tire and more are developing airless tires which lack the above mentioned issues so that they can be fitted on private and commercial vehicles. Keep in mind that there are some motorcycle makers who produce models with NPT tires.
The idea behind autonomous vehicles is that once you get in the automobile the only thing that you will have to do is to start the car. All the rest will be handled by the vehicle while you enjoy a safe and smooth trip to your destination. Researches show that robotic drivers can think and react faster than human drivers and more important can surveillance the ongoing events in all directions. Several internationally known car manufactures are working on autonomous vehicles while Google has a fleet of 24 automobiles which up to date have logged an estimate of 805.000 kilometres throughout the state of California. Even more, the state of Nevada has accepted a law which permits the usage of autonomous vehicles in both rural and urban areas, including Las Vegas. Experts believe that robotic automobiles can become an essential part of our lives within no more than two years but sadly there are legal issued which will prolong the acceptance for the mass usage of such vehicles. This innovation may not be welcomed by speed enthusiasts who enjoy driving some of the fastest vehicles on Earth but studies who that autonomous automobiles will be able to substance high speeds that won't take out the pleasure in rapid driving.
Also known as light sails or photon sails this technology should enhance our space travel capabilities. The sails comprise of large mirrors which use solar radiation as a mean of propulsion. In 2010, IKAROS became the first successfully launched spacecraft which used solar sails. The technology allows low-cost space operations and the manufacturing of spacecrafts which have a longer lifespan. Experts claim that these vehicles will be best used for the delivery of payloads to the International Space Station (ISS) and other planets which scientist are surveying.
Urban transport pods
The Urban transport pods are being developed in the British town of Milton Keynes. They will be moving on their own on pre-describe routes and will be able to carry one single passenger. Travelers will be able to control the pod via a touchscreen on the windshield which will give them the ability to:
Select their final destination and stop points
Check the daily news
Check their e-mail
Chat and make video calls
Connect their personal devices
At the moment such pods are being used in a handful of places such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, Heathrow Airport in London and other tightly controlled areas.
Alternative fuel vehicles
There are numerous different concepts as researchers are working on several alternative fuels such as electricity, hydrogen and compressed air. They believe that these elements can be used to create internal combustion and propulsion, and therefore allow people to drive vehicles which are more environmentally friendly. These technologies have been in development since the mid-20th century but it was during the last decade that any significant progress was made. At the moment Tesla Motors is perhaps the best known manufacturer of alternative fuel vehicles. The company was founded in 2003 and is renowned for producing some of the best, fastest and most luxurious electric cars in the world.
We may have to wait for a while before we see flexible wings on airplanes but the technology is being developed and soon entered its experimental stage. It is expected that flexible wings will lower airplane accidents as they will permit pilots to have better controlling capabilities during various dangerous situations such as engine problems, heavy turbulence, electrical storms and etc.
The concept of the space elevator has been around for a very long time. However since the 21st century numerous companies have been working on creating a functional design which will allow to connect to planet to ISS. The construction of the space elevator will allow space agencies to access the station via vehicles which will move via a tether which will be anchored to Earth's surface and extended to the ISS. This will automatically eliminate the usage of rockets to reach the planet's lower and upper orbit.