Gas-guzzling vehicles, body-crowded subway cars, and maddening rush hour traffic can make any commute unbearably painful. But on the bright side, technology is advancing, and may soon make transportation a lot easier.
Luckily, smart people are coming up with solutions to these thorny commuter issues every day.Though it may be a little while before changes are implemented, technology is growing leaps and bounds closer to changing your personal commuting hell into a breeze.
Here’s some in-the-work transportation tech to look forward too that may relieve some of the discomfort that comes with getting here to there.
1. Instead of waiting in traffic, fly over it.
We mean using a flying car, of course. Seem silly? Actually, there are flying cars currently in development by multiple companies. Ehang’s personal drone, for instance, doesn’t even need a need a pilot – it’s autonomous.
Looking for something that has strong road credentials too? The Aeromobil Roadable Aircraft is fully accustomed to road traffic, parking, and gas stations, while also being able to take off and land at any airport using collapsable wings.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) also has a flying car in production – called the Transformer (TX), this vehicle would combine the advantages of ground travel and helicopter flight into one, amazing, mode of transport.
2. Instead of a bike, take the Smart Mobility Style.
Everyone pedestrian would probably be a little more happy without bikers nearly flattening them. On the same note, the world would be better without the fumes of motorcycles and other motorized bikes polluting the air.
In Japan, the solution to these is a three-wheeled smart vehicle. The third wheel adds mobility and ease for street traveling.
Known as the “Smart Mobility Style,” this sleek vehicle by D-Art is made especially for navigating cities. It runs an electric battery, and has a built in tilt mechanism for cruising at high speeds. It’s also fast, safe, and good for the environment, according to EcoFriend.com.
3. Instead of a plane or train, take the Hyperloop or the ET3.
While the word “hyperloop” without context could bring to mind a number of things, such as a radioactive cereal or a cosmic curling iron, in reality it is a high-speed transit system that would make quick and relatively cheap trips between cities minutes at over 700 mph.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, has an intricate model all planned out here.
Theoretically, it would utilize a pair of steel tubes with solar panels atop them, with small pods rising and leaving every 2 minutes on an above ground route following major freeways, according to Forbes. The point would be to allow a continuous flow of people (unlike air travel) to commute long distances in very little time.
Similarly, Evacuated Tube Transport Technology, also known as ET3, is a concept using high-speed above ground tubes that promises a trip from New York to Los Angeles in a mere 45 minutes. Et3 would be clean, green, comfortable, and affordable, and is self-described as “space travel on Earth.”
As this design was patented long before the Hyperloop, there is speculation on whether or not Musk’s Hyperloop is simply a licensed version of the ET3. Either way, this would be a revolutionary change in transportation.
4. Instead of the Greyhound, take the Superbus (not to be confused with Megabus).
With minimal foot room, long lines, and nausea-inducing bumps along freeways, some people live their lives avoiding bus transportation if they can afford to.
Perhaps that is what makes Dutch invention Superbus such a great idea. According to their official website, Superbus is an aerodynamic 15 meter long sustainable vehicle that provides seating for 23 passengers, with 8 doors per side.
Superbus is customizable for single travelers or groups, with a luxury interior designed for comfort and complete with multimedia entertainment. The route is determined depending on the destination of the passengers, meaning no fixed schedules or layovers. It also looks like a spaceship limousine hybrid. What’s not to love?
5. Instead of driving your car, let your car drive you.
This may sound crazy, but once we face the likely fact that computers are more technically reliable than human beings, driverless cars won’t be too far off. We can thank Google for this one, as it is a project their engineers have been testing for quite some time.
Robotic drivers, according to the New York Times, not only react faster than humans and have 360-degree perception, but do not get distracted or tired, and (obviously) won’t be caught texting or drinking on the road.
Engineers say this could revolutionize travel, by reducing car accidents significantly, and allowing for lighter vehicles with less fuel consumption. Driverless cars would also be able to drive extremely close together (also known as “platooning”) to minimize traffic and collisions.
Tesla Motors also has an auto-pilot car in development, which they predict will be available within the next three years.