Tesla Hyperloops Reach Speeds of Mach 1
It really wasn’t that long ago that transportation was limited to a distance of just a few miles from your rural homestead by horseback. Destinations achievable or even imaginable within a given day were limited by dirt roads which could easily become impassable due to inclement weather and human endurance. The Founding Fathers of America including such luminaries as Thomas Jefferson could be found perched upon the saddles of their beloved horse in route from their palatial homes in places like Monticello or Mount Vernon to the meetings of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. These arduous journeys could last weeks on end.
The advent of centralized train transportation and attendant construction of tracks across America did change the equation, but incrementally. Until the manufacture of the first automobiles which began in earnest at the turn of the 20th Century, transportation locally, regionally, and nationally remained antiquated and exceedingly slow.
All of this radically changed with the introduction of motorized vehicles and the launch of mass production by industrialists such as Henry Ford. As previously detailed in this magazine, total automobiles in the year 1900 were just a few thousand. This increased into the tens of millions in just 30 years.
With the increase in cars came the construction of the first highways across the country and adventurists making the trek from the east to the west coast. The World Fair of 1937 featured a World of Tomorrow animated with colorful models dedicated to the Future of Transportation. Visitors for the first time viewed prototypes of the first highways rising above urban centers with scores of miniaturized cars moving about like insects. Of course, we take all of that for granted now, but not so in 1937.
The July Edition of Future2050 will consider what the world of transportation will bring in 2050. What will this science and technology look like and, more importantly, how will it change the way we interact with each other and the very nature of American life?
For starters, by 2050, gas-powered internal combustion will go the way of the horse and buggy. Our children’s children will marvel at these odd contraptions which nearly destroyed the Earth. The new vehicles of choice will still likely be individualized compartments but controlled by a central control system much like our present air traffic control. Our grandchildren will be horrified that the death of over 50,000 people a year due to auto accidents was the standard operating procedure back in 2021.
In tandem with the new individualized mode of transportation will come the Elon Musk hypertubes and similar technology which will accelerate to speeds in excess of thousands of miles per hour. The airline industry will experience the disastrous fate of the automobile industry as the new hypertrains replace the previous role of these now archaic relics of transportation. Airports and the huge swath of runways will go the way of the American malls of today. A personal trip from coast to coast will take less than an hour. A trip from NY to Washington would be just a few minutes. Less ambitious trips between major urban areas like Austin to Houston would be less than 30 minutes from start to end.
All of this will change how we do business and live. For example, even in 2021 all of our social and economic interactions are still based on the nominal limits of transportation. Most of us live and work within a radius of maybe 20 miles. That will change by 2050 as life and work will not be limited geographically. One could easily live in NY and commute to Los Angeles daily without blinking an eye. It would seem easier than a local trip now from say Connecticut to Manhattan daily. Our friends, where we shop, dine, and work would now play out daily at points anywhere across the United States.
What a transportation whirlwind. The folks in 2050 will view our current transportation technology with a fond recollection of the stagecoaches of old. Our Teslas and Cadillacs and Hummers will be featured in a new wing of the celebrated Smithsonian Museum of Technology in Washington.
Come join us for a futurism journey to transportation in the year 2050, our featured topic this July in Future2050.net.
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