Growing up in a world of planes, trains and automobiles, we may not have noticed that our transport is changing all around us. As one designer introduces the concept of our own personal helicopters, we look at other ways technology and transport are working hand in hand!
Our own personal helicopters
Helicopters are most frequently seen in end-scenes of action movies, but in our future, perhaps they could soon be far more personal, or at least this is the dream of Eduardo Galvani, and his design of the CityCopter.
More closely resembling the Jetsons' flying cars, Galvani promises his creation will ensure an eco-friendly future, and transform our commute spectacularly. From the official website, CityCopter promises thus:
"Because of its characteristics, Fly™, in a near future, would still helps to solve the problem of out of space in streets of most cities, where the number of cars is now extremely high and causing too much pollution."
Very true. Maybe this will be one creation that can solve the problem of gas emissions and overcrowded roads. Also: our own personal helicopter; that would be rather cool, as these concept design pictures show.
The idea behind the very compact and beautiful designs is not just about looking good, however. Not only could the designs assist safer transport, but also reduce carbon emissions that continuously puncture the atmosphere.
"With the Internet and the fast growth of globalization, people are understanding much better where their resources comes from, and how they can learn from the others to cultivate new habits to provide a better quality of life and help them to collaborate with a new reality for all." Galvani explained.
So how are other vehicles following suit?
Intelligent bikes that can't be stolen, shape-shift, and fly?
As a youngster, the excitement of your first proper bicycle was a feeling of elation like no other. Skip forward to today, and normal bikes have been given a slight revamp. Take, for example, the Cylo - a brand of urban bicycle; embedded with LED lights so you can glow in the dark as you ride.
Then there's the, deep breath, Kawasaki J Three Wheeler EV which debuted in Tokyo last year; a chameleon bike that can change depending on your mood.
Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman has also created design concepts for a bike with a fingerprint security system; meaning perhaps a future of no more stolen bikes ever again!
London based company XploreAir are also on their way to getting the world's first flying bike, called the Paravelo. Although don't automatically assume we'll all be flying across the moon like E.T! Using fan power and flexible wings, designers John Fodenand Yannick Read have been working on the project for quite some time. In 2013, they released a sadly unsuccessful Kickstarter, but confirmed on the blog that they were still trying to fly without wings. As their website says:
"We are all born explorers, and the quest for adventure remains within us always."
Cars that can drive themselves, have embedded wifi, and even deliver pizza to you
Yes, as our car adverts get flashier, and our models get shinier, automobiles are certainly changing the most dramatically. Take for instance Google's self-driving car; an incredible revelation that could actually make roads safer.
These involve such inventions as self-aware, autonomous brakes that will halt a vehicle automatically if a driver hasn't spotted a collison. Clever, clever.
The first wave of the sentient Google cars are said to be put in place by 2017, set to be called "Google Chauffeur!" Only time will tell.
Alongside self-driving cars, there are also other revelations that will give us the James Bond experience. Car and Driver magazine predict "In five years, 25% of cars will be connected to the internet," and the race is very much on to see which brand will get there first. Having internet power from our own cars of course will hit an apex in what our commutes can do, from more advanced GPS trackers, to having Google Maps embedded as we drive.
"This year is a tipping point," said in-car technology expert Thilo Koslowski, to The Wall Street Journal. "There has been a lot of talk about apps in cars, but from 2014 forward, the revolution really happens."
More exciting developments...
- Virtual Reality
As we may have excitedly mentioned, virtual reality is set to be huge in our not so very far away future. Although we're not exactly going to be plugged into the future, innovations such as Oculus Rift can show us what our holidays and hotels may look like before we go on them!
- Faster airplanes
After the retirement of Concorde in 2013, aviation lovers wondered if our future would ever be quite as speedy. Richard Branson cheekily mused that we may just be able to fly from New York to Tokyo in less than an hour. But maybe he was just being a big tease.
Are you excited for any of these future vehicles?