Travel: City Pods and Space Travel on Earth
Today, half of the world’s population lives in a city. And this is only going to continue growing, reaching 70% by 2050, according to experts. This increasing swell is causing many headaches for urban planners and designers, the biggest of which is the transport infrastructure in and around our mega cities. The number one question: How will we get around in an efficient and sustainable fashion?
In place of cars in congested London, we may well turn to something like the zero-emission EN-V. Its inventors,General Motors and their partners The Shanghai Automotive Industry,
hope it will be mass-produced by 2021. Controlled by acoustic distance sensors,car-to-car data and GPS, the EN-V demands nothing more of its driver than knowing where you’d like to go.
So in the future, anyone, young or old, with or without a license, would be able to just hop in and go.The fleet of tiny EN-V pods is set to be battery-powered and would navigate our cities using sensors and wireless technologies to cruise at speeds up to 40km/hr. Each networked car would run on a navigation platform developed by G.M. and Segway called P.U.M.A.
Is it likely to be a reality for a city like London? Well the biggest challenge is overcoming infrastructure. But if we can build a tube network, put Boris bikes on the road and launch a car sharing scheme in Britain, why couldn’t we be all cruising around in EN-Vs?
Getting in and out of our cities could be a lot more efficient too. Forget visits to dreary Heathrow or being herded like cattle onto yet another packed train; ‘Trans-Oceanic Tubes’ will make getting in and out of cities super fast.
Called The Evacuated Tube Transport (ET3), this new system is advertised as “space travel on earth” and promises to be cheaper,faster and greener than both rail and air travel.
ET3 promises to be so unbelievably fast that passengers could travel between New York and China in just 2 hours.Six person capsules would zoom at over 4,000 mph through a series of vacuum-sealed tubes running both below and above ground, with the capsules being electrically propelled between destinations.
A viable option? Or just fantasy? Well. Trend site PSFK report ‘that the original patent for the ET3 was awarded in 1999 to Daryl Oster’ and ‘he’s since been refining the idea with transportation engineer PhD Dr. Zhang Yaoping.’ They also report that dozens of licenses have been bought in five different countries, including China, who have bought the most. So who knows?