Transport visions, past and present (photos)

Transport visions, past and present (photos)

Summary: From the utopian retro-futurism of the '40s and '50s to current emerging vehicle concepts and manifestations, the future of travel has never looked cooler.


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  • Fast forward a few decades and you've got your first real attempt at a flying car. Taking over 40 years to develop, the $500,000 M400 SkyCar is the first personal flying car that can take off vertically (a.k.a. VLOT - vertical take-off and landing). It managed to hover in 2003 with a tether, but subsequent public flight tests have been postponed to this day.

    Photo credit: Moller International

  • The Terrafugia Transition 'Flying Car' made headlines recently after its first successful flight. It will be on display at the New York International Auto Show until April 15th where onlookers will marvel at the perfect blend of novelty and impracticality.  Learn more on SmartPlanet.

    Photo credit: Terrafugia


  • While driverless cars make for good publicity in the US, driverless pod cars are zooming around at London Heathrow Airport transporting passengers between Terminal 5 and car parks. These driverless cars don't rely on tracks so can be used on regular roads. Learn more about pod cars on ZDNet.  

    Photo credit: Ultra PRT

Topic: CXO

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  • It's a great insight into the culture of that time

    full of optimism and "can do" attitude. Today, everything is dystopian.
    • Its Because

      Everyone thinks that tomorrow will be just like today only more so. Now mind you things are generally better today than they were 100 years ago (there are more trees today in North America than 100 years ago, people live longer than 100 years ago, etc.) but people don't feel they are better off. Julian Simon often wrote on the subject.
  • Prototypes vs Pictures

    The big difference is that a good percentage of the "future" vision for today consists of living prototypes whereas the past visions were simple designs. Sure, there were a few designs for the future in this series as well, but look at the overall grouping and you'll see a bunch of prototype items that actually work (somewhat). That's pretty darn exciting.
  • Except for that third rail in the 3rd picture

    There would be stacks of dead animals (and some people) on the tracks.
    William Farrel
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  • I road the Shinkansen all of them.

    I road the Sakura 3 times, Kodama 1 time, Nozomi 1 time (nozomi is sometimes called Hikari, its the same train with a few more stops added). Mizuho is also a renamed shinkansen, i think it can be a sakura with less stops and limited service area. I have rode JR rail trains, Subways (not run by JR), other non JR (trains), snd Street Cars
    I have almost traveled every type of train like vehicle in Japan in a span of 12 days.

    All Shinkansen can be ridden via Rail Pass save Nozomi and Mizuho because the are the express shinkansens. I had pay up front to ride nozomi but it was worth it traveling from hiroshima to tokyo to catch a flight home.

    The Kodama is the slowest shinkansen it stops every shinkansen stop but it's faster than local trains. a 2 hour rid on regular JR rail is 1 hour via kodama and only 20 minutes with sakura. but sakura may skip places.