By Antony Powath
When we were young, we had great fascination for TV serials such as ‘Beyond 2000’ and movies like ‘Back to the future,’ where they presented different future technologies such as hover boards, digital newspapers, video conferencing, shoes that can automatically tie and many more. Now it seems that the future has arrived. We do have hover boards, iPads, phones that can do video conferencing and, incredible though it be, Nike has come up with self-tying shoes.
In the automotive sector the futuristic novelty is self-driving vehicles. The manufacturers are coming out with cars that can navigate by themselves, with many tracking features and better safety systems. However, the shape of the cars has been more or less the same since the last two decades. During the famous automotive shows that happen in different parts of the world year after year the carmakers come up with many innovative models, but seldom do they come to the market for sale.
It would be great if they could think out-of-the-box and design cars that can change size automatically and become bigger or smaller as required. For example, when you drive yourself or with a colleague, the car, with the press of a button, becomes micro, and during the weekend, when you travel with your family or friends, similarly it expands to a sedan, or even better, an SUV.
It would be interesting to see how Elon Musk is pushing the boundaries and the concept of travel. His methods are different and it is to be seen how they would be successful. More than Tesla, Elon Musk’s Hyperloop seems to be something that is going to be a game-changer. If it does become a reality, the way people travel to work also will change. Now most people live and work in the same city.
A hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and/or freight transportation, first used to describe an open-source vactrain design released by a joint team from Tesla and SpaceX. Drawing heavily from Robert Goddard’s vactrain, a hyperloop is a sealed tube or system of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people or objects at high speeds while being very efficient.
SpaceX is revolutionising terrestrial transportation through its hyperloop services. The company currently provides these services to innovators and universities across the world interested in high-speed transportation technology and solutions. The Hyperloop system built by SpaceX at its headquarters in Hawthorne, California, is approximately one mile long with a six foot outer diameter.
If the hyperloop becomes an affordable proposition, people can stay in their home town, travel even 500km (one way) to the office or factory for work and return home the same day.
The good thing to come out of this is that the competitors of Elon Musk will start to work on similar projects and perhaps perfect them and make this type of future, present.