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How Will We Get Around In The Future?

Aging city infrastructure is providing a unique opportunity for city planners and transportation professionals to put their thinking caps on and figure out just how in the world we’re going to get rid of our overwhelming dependence on privately owned vehicles.

When the first hybrid vehicle became available in the U.S. it left many people in awe of the advancements in technology. A car that plugs into the wall? Come’on. But as engineers continue to put our imaginations to the test, the future of transportation is starting to look progressively more like a sci-fi film. Here’s a look into the future of transportation.

Maglev Train

Fully operational in Shanghai, China, the Maglev Train has been an unprecedented invention in public transportation. Using magnetic levitation, the Maglev Train reduces friction by using magnets to both lift and propel the train allowing it to move at incredibly high speeds and with less power than other forms of public transport.

Each car operates independently from the next allowing them to make stops without holding up the rest of the cars. The car needing to make a pit stop simply moves aside and lets the rest continue on to their detinations.

This superior form of transportation is slated to be more widely used internationally. Implementation is not prohibitive as it can run on existing train, subway and streetcar groundwork. 

Modular Pods

Perhaps one of the more futuristic inventions on the list, modular pods would eliminate the need for private vehicle ownership altogether. With the ability to call one directly to your home, business, wherever, the modular pod comes in multiple sizes to accommodate single or group travel. They quite literally look like the flying cars from The Jetsons but grounded.

The pods would be stored on rooftops allowing the complete eradication of parking lots. With the extra space we’d ideally create more green space.

Self-Driving Cars

Google already has this one in the bag. Seeing one of those babies rolling up next to you is a shocker, but don’t you kind of want to jump in the back and see what it’s like to be driven by an invisible chauffer?

Let’s talk statistically why this is a good idea. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered that over 90% of car accidents were cause by human error. Advancements in machine learning, fully automated cars could mitigate the human factor and promise everyone on the road a safer ride.

Researchers also believe that the reaction time of these self-driven cars will lessen human injury in case something does go awry. In some circumstances, avoiding a crash will be impossible regardless of who’s in the driver’s seat. But with substantially increased reaction time, the fallout could be less severe.



The CEO of Martin Aircraft describes the invention as having the ability to create a “highway in the sky”. The idea is to enable people to partake in rapid transportation. The jetpack isn’t what you imagined when you were a child, a backpack with rockets blowing out the bottom. They’re much bigger than you’d first imagined and the component that propels you up, down, sideways and forwards are located on the sides. It’s outfitted with a parachute too, you know, just in case.

A common theme among these impressive transportation inventions is the desire to improve our way of living and the environment. Some believe that cars will be illegal in the near future. 

About the author

Nick Hastreiter

I write about the future of business. I approach this by interviewing founders, CEO's, and other game changers to share their vision for the future of their industry.

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