Travelling in the Near Future Posted on March 21, 2023 (June 8, 2023) by Dinda Years2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 30-day free access to FuturArc App CategoriesMain Feature City Profile Showcase Commentary Commentary / 1st Quarter 2023 Travelling in the Near Future by Alakesh Dutta March 21, 2023 Our future modes of travel are poised for disruptive transformation by ideas that may have existed before, but are now beginning to take shape as practical and concrete manifestations. A drone taxi. VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock.com Drones Flying in personalised miniature aircrafts, on-demand, is almost a reality already. While unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones, have been used extensively by industries like the military, agriculture, infrastructure maintenance, remote medical services, etc., their use for transporting passengers had been in its infancy till a few years back. Several cities like Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Stuttgart have now surged ahead and conducted successful tests to show that drones could transport passengers over cities and even between cities. These efforts are being enabled by companies like Ascendance, Lilium, Volocopter, etc. Test flights of passenger drones/drone taxis have shown promising capabilities to transport up to five passengers to distances of over 160 kilometres at speeds reaching 320 km/h.1 A Hyperloop Passenger Module. MDXB/Shutterstock.com Hyperloops While drones are suitable for short- to mid-distance commutes, hyperloop is another plausible futuristic technology that is being tested to revolutionise fast long-distance travels, which for now is completely monopolised by commercial jetplanes. The hyperloop technology is a ground-based system in which passenger pods (like the one shown in the image on the left) travel within vacuum tubes at speeds of up to 1,200 km/h.2 As Elon Musk famously stated in his 2013 white paper titled Hyperloop Alpha, this technology could possibly reduce the travel time between San Francisco and Los Angeles to a mere 35 minutes from the present 1 hour 25 minutes on a commercial flight.3 Caveat Technologies like these have tremendous potential and are certainly going to revolutionise the future of travel and living. However, it is paramount that such technologies are: a. Democratised: Making them accessible to multiple/all sections of society and not just a select few.b. Harmonised: It must be ensured that these technologies are not only non-polluting in the context of our environment today, but also do not cause any latent detrimental effects decades later. We must not repeat our mistakes. The well-being, of both humans and all parts of our fragile ecosystem, must be paramount and must take precedence.c. Integrated: From hyperloops and drone taxis to driverless cars/pods, personal mobility devices and walking—these should all form a hierarchical multi-modal system of urban commute that facilitates easy transitions from one point to another, and are seamlessly integrated into our urban fabric without dissecting and dividing it. Such a multi-modal staggered network will offer multiple choices of speed, convenience and accessibility to the future residents in our cities. [This is an excerpt. Subscribe to the digital edition or hardcopy to read the complete article.] Related stories: Roads Reimagined Roads Reimagined | FuturArc Roads occupy a staggering 18 to 30 per cent of the total available land area in cities today.1 While these figures are for American cities, similar, if not higher, percentages could be expected in other countries as well. These numbers represent a significant proportion given that space is a scarce… Can Pune be a Case Study for Indian Cities to Improve Pedestrian Infrastructure? Can Pune be a Case Study for Indian Cities to Improve Pedestrian Infrastructure? | FuturArc Pune used to be a quaint town known for its pleasant weather, shaded streets with overarching trees, and the heritage old city quarters till the 1990s. Unlike the closely situated Mumbai, which is a post-industrial city established by the British during the colonial era, Pune was established in the… The Rise of PAREX in Manila: An Antithesis to Green Mobility The Rise of PAREX in Manila: An Antithesis to Green Mobility | FuturArc Soon, Manileños will see a new addition to the skyline of the capital. The linear vista of the waterfront of Pasig River, the most significant waterway crossing several cities of Metro Manila, anticipates a change that will unveil drastic outcomes on the quality of life of Filipinos. Pasig River Exp… Read more stories from FuturArc 1Q 2023: Mobility & Transport! 1 Sims, Josh. Are flying taxis the future of transport? Experts say that passenger drones may take off as early as 2040 – making for a US$1.5 trillion market. South China Morning Post. [Online] May 1, 2022. https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/newstrends/article/3176015/are-flying-taxis-future-transport-experts-say-passenger. 2 Silic, Anamaria. What Is Hyperloop and When Will It Be Ready? DISCOVER. [Online] February 14, 2021. https://www. discovermagazine.com/technology/what-is-hyperloop-and-when-will-it-be-ready. 3 Amirtha, Tina. This Hyperloop firm has yet to attempt a test run – but it’s already working on the app. ZDNET. [Online] June 17, 5 6 2016. https://www.zdnet.com/article/this-hyperloop-firm-has-yet-to-attempt-a-test-run-but-its-already-working-on-the-app/. 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