Nothing has ever excited the humankind more than the possibility of future inventions. From bullock carts to high-tech cars and jet planes, we have come a long way but that isn’t where we stop. Take a look at these 10 futuristic forms of transportation that will surely make you want to live at least enough to experience them. Plus, they’re a great food for thought, imagination, fantasy and awe.
Shweeb, a human powered monorail system uses bicycle pods suspended from tracks to create a very efficient option for travelling from one place to another. Currently you can ride the Shweeb at the Agroventures in New Zealand where you can reach speeds of up to 45 km/h (28 mph) under your own steam. However, soon the company along with US$1 million investment received from Google in 2010 will be announcing the location for the first Shweeb built for public use.
9. Solaris Car
Solaris Car, a two people car, won the first prize in the Aurora Survivor 2050 competition hosted by Mazda. Designed by Ali Jafari, part of the Aurora Solar Car Team this vehicle is powered solely by solar and electric power. The Aurora team is currently partnered with the Swinburne University to develop the car as a fully road legal, two seat, solar-electric passenger car for everyday, off the grid use.
Introduced in 2007 by Andrei França, Noah is high performance vehicle- part Segway, part unicycle. Initially, it may fool you into thinking it’s a unicycle but on looking closely, you’ll find its two tires mounted in tandem. The Noah is designed to use the human driver as the control device using how you lean forward, back or side to side to determine acceleration, braking and turning, without the need for pedals or buttons. The two tires act as stabilizers through turns as they can shift up and down against one another and give you more control. If they spun independently, you could even twirl in place. Cool for a revolutionized bike, no?
7. Self Charging Eco-Friendly Train
We are all aware of the desperate urge from the nature conscious people to minimize pollution and maximize the use of eco-friendly products in order to protect, preserve n conserve the environment. Now imagine a mass transportation vehicle which is not only electric but can also recharge its battery on the go. Recently, a demonstration of a trackless train has been developed by researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The vehicle can operate with a battery that’s one-fifth of the size of batteries installed in electric vehicles currently on the market. KAIST hopes to commercialize this technology within the next few years.
6. Airbus Transparent Plane
Brilliantly designed by the Aerospace Company Airbus, the plane will mimic the flight efficiency of a bird’s skeleton and the cabin walls will be completely see-through. The passenger cabin will be fully ecological, constructed from fully recyclable plant fibres that can be grown to a custom shape. Smart energy solutions like energy harvesting will be a part of the cabin environment. The body heat you give out will be collected by your seat and combined with energy collected with other sources like solar panels; it will be able to fuel many cabin appliances. They are hoping to have the plane in flight by 2050.
Designer David Miguel Moreira Goncalves had the urban environment in mind when he drew up his plans. He noticed that people prefer personal vehicles over public transportation, so he tried to come up with something easy and environmentally friendly that could still be individualized. Scarab, this concept vehicle, is sleek and streamlined and vaguely motorcycle-shaped, but it’s also enclosed, with plenty of room for luggage, and is powered by either batteries, biofuel, or a fuel cell. You can drive it manually, but it can also navigate itself on certain dedicated pathways. The best part? It drives on four wheels, but tilts up on two for easy parking. It’s also collapsible.
As the name suggests, it’s a much superior version of a bus; it’s a Superbus. Fueled by electricity, this bus will have around 30 side doors for quick boarding and departing. It also stands no taller than a SUV, and is planned to be made out of composite materials. It is being designed to cruise at 155 mph and will go from 0 to 60 in 36 seconds.
Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and PayPal, is now revolutionizing public transport. He recently unveiled his idea for an ultra-fast, city-to-city transport system that could get you from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just 35 minutes. Hyperloop which will be powered by solar energy is described as an elevated steel tube containing aluminum capsules that would travel at speeds over 1,200 kilometers per hour (760 mph), ferrying cars as well as people.
2. Freedom Ship
Ever wondered how it would be like to live on the sea, literally? Well now your thoughts and fantasies about that might just turn true as a project for building a floating city is under work. This isn’t being designed as a big boat for cruising though; they are looking to make it an honest-to-God city. It would circumnavigate the world every 3 years, giving the residents access to many different locations over time. It will have a built in airport, malls, apartments, etc.
1. Space Elevator
Conquered the land, air and water, so why should Space be any behind? First theorized over 100 years ago, the idea of the space elevator has been making its rounds into one of the most awaited futuristic forms of transportation.According to the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC), the cost of transporting cargo in this way “will be significantly reduced in price to the realm of dollars per kilogram compared with over $20,000 per kilogram today.” A Tokyo-based construction company Obayashi Corp. has stated plans to have a 96,000 kilometer (59,652 mile) space elevator capable of carrying 30 passengers at a time operational by 2050.