We asked our experts about their thoughts on the future of transport. Here are some of their most interesting answers.
Petrol is going the way of horses
What will transport look like in 100 years? Will it be completely fuel-free?
I cannot imagine us using fossil fuels – or any liquid fuels for that matter – on any large scale 100 years from now. It’s much like asking about using horses or sailboats during the dawn of the steam engine. Once we find enough clean sources of electricity and build the infrastructure, using electric cars, trucks and buses will be easier than anything else.
Cities for people
How will our cities change to accommodate this?
There is no need to change cities because of cars. Quite the opposite – the electric cars will allow the cities to change back to become more friendly for people. Electric cars are quieter and cleaner than fuel cars, and, with the advent of autonomous driving and shared cars, cities will cease to be just huge parking lots. Once freed of all the parked cars, streets and squares will become once again spaces for people to enjoy.
No road for flying cars
Will we have roads in the sky?
Where we are going, we won’t need roads. Before the cars start flying, they will start driving themselves and communicating with each other, as well as with the infrastructure. They will be able to move in a beautiful, precise, controlled chaos.
All about electricity
How will electricity play a part?
Electricity created from clean sources is going to send the fossil fuels to the refuse heap of history. In 100 years, it will be the dominating source of power for transportation.
A lounge on wheels, or a fun machine?
Will electric cars of the future work or look any different? If so, how?
With no engine and no need for a driver, the electric cars of the future will mostly look like luxurious lounges on wheels. They will allow occupants to work, sleep or have fun while travelling. But as long as there are people who love driving, there still will be semi-automated sports cars. And they may be surprisingly similar to the ones we have now!
Could we see electric planes and other vehicles in common use?
We are already seeing them. It will start with small, personal planes and maybe helicopters or some kind of “personal drones”. In 100 years, with batteries getting smaller and more efficient, and with improving materials and aerodynamics, we may even see an electric alternative for today’s jets.
No need to drive
Will people even need to drive?
Will everything be automated?
Self-driving cars will be here much sooner than in a century. And while we still may drive if we want to, the cars will be able to control themselves. Accidents will become exceedingly rare, and cars will become lighter and more efficient because there will be no need for crash protection.
People will still drive friendly cars
What are some of your most surprising or unusual predictions?
Although we won’t need to drive anymore in a few decades, many people will still want to do so. With the advent of automated driving and artificial intelligence, cars will be more than just machines to be controlled. They will have minds of their own, allowing the driver to take control but preventing him or her from doing anything stupid. Much like horses do. Maybe they will even have their own personalities and people will regard them as pets.