The past week’s events have focused my attention on truly significant matters in our nation’s life. The process of paying tribute to a former President following his death made me keenly aware of contrasts between our government leadership now and then.
This now deceased leader and his political party then was one that could be respected, whether or not his governing actions were agreeable to all. His life reminded me of our nation’s values and the need we have now for .....
– a leader with some sense of honesty
– a leader capable of civility while demonstrating ethical and moral behavior
– a leader determined to maintain our individual freedoms
– a leader dedicated to preserving our democracy.
Looking to a better future with a different more capable competent U.S. leader, I’m intrigued with ideas that may become reality. I find myself wondering if they will develop in my lifetime? What will everyday life become in a decade or so after I depart this consciousness?
One such progressive area is transportation which is certainly of interest to those of us in Southern California’s Los Angeles area with all our traffic and congested freeways. What succeeds here will expand elsewhere and benefit from others creations. Following are “five futuristic transport modes” featured at Raconteur with visual and more detailed information about their current developmental status – closer to reality than might be thought.
1. Hyperloop –
“Travelers would go to what's called a portal, which will likely be first in transit hubs of major cities before spreading outward to smaller ones. There, they will enter a large tube and board a pod inside of it with 15 to 30 others.” People will be transported at 600 mph as reported for Virgin Hyperloop at CNBC.
This travel mode reminds me of a pneumatic vacuum tube that fascinated me when I was a young girl. Our local J. C. Penny store had such a system in their several story building. When we paid for our purchase – always cash as this was long before credit cards – our money was placed in a tube to whoosh up a vacuum track to an office where the transaction was processed, receipt and all due inserted in the tube, then whooshed back down to our clerk who returned any change to us.
2. Autonomous Helicopters --
“There are more than 40 smallish vertical take-off and landing aircraft, most of them electrically powered, known as eVTOLs, at various stages of development. Some are the progeny of major aircraft makers...Airbus.”
Lilium is a competitor in Germany. Uber has expressed interest with Brazillian planemaker Embraer with their vision of Flying Taxis.
3. Super-trains –
These trains have been running since 1984 on a magnetic levitation (maglev) technology but are being considered in “...transport networks across the world. A 2015 Japanese maglev train reached speeds of just over 600km/h, but researchers at China’s Southwest Jiaotong University are testing an ultra-fast bullet train prototype, based on maglev technology, that could potentially reach speeds of up to 1,000km/h.”
Such a system is being proposed from Washington to New York.
4. Elevated Cycle Paths –
These paths for e-bike cycling “could reduce congestion on highways, with the southeast Chinese city of Xiamen constructing the world’s longest elevated cycling path last year.” There are only a few of these paths but that may change. “German carmaker BMW ... The automaker, in collaboration with Tingyi University in China, recently unveiled a proposal to build elevated cycle paths for e-bikes and electric scooters in Shanghai.”
5. Smart Roads -
These smart roads are connected to the IoT (Internet of Things - defined as “the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.” The roads communicate with smart cars.
“A Portuguese scheme, co-funded by the European Union, is set to create around 1,000 kilometres of smart roads in the country..... Sweden recently completing a pilot project that saw two kilometres of road transformed into an electrified track that recharges electric cars and trucks while they drive.”
If any or all of these transportation modes interest you, check the visuals and read additional information at this Raconteur link. These have many benefits including aiding in pollution reduction, increased safety. Some of them may be appearing in your community before long.
What do you think of these systems? Are they appealing to you? I’m not too keen on getting in one of those pneumatic tube pods.