Do you feel disappointed because the advanced transportation machines shown in futuristic films have not materialized yet? Flying cars and teleportation still remain a utopian dream, however some transport of the future is already here (or coming very soon). Today we discuss 3 projects that are the crème de la crème when it comes to efficient transportation: Hyperloop, Explore Transit Bus (TEB) and THOR.
Hyperloop: land transportation at 750 miles per hour
The leader of this project is Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla (no surprise here!). According to him we won’t have to wait long to see this technology operational. He estimates it will become available sometime between 2018 and 2019.
This new Tesla project is based on transportation capsules that, installed on land tubes, will reach a speed of around 750 miles per hour. To achieve this the company will use aircraft technology, which allows planes to reach high speeds when flying at high altitudes, where the air pressure is lower. According to Dirk Ahlborn, Managing Director of Hyperloop, the idea is to reproduce this low pressure inside the tubes enabling terrestrial public transport at very high speed.
Energy efficiency will play a very important role in this project, since the tubes will be covered with solar panels and the energy generated will be used to power the capsules.
TEB: the giant bus that runs above cars
And from the United States we go to China, which last May presented the Transit Explore Bus (TEB), a bus raised two meters off the ground which will operate above cars on rails installed on the road.
This huge vehicle, electric of course, can carry up to 1400 passengers, save space on roads, avoid traffic jams and best of all, manufacturing will be 20% cheaper than building an underground train.
In addition, according to the engineer responsible for the project, Song Youzhou, the TEB could be operational this year, another example that the future is very close!
THOR: a 13-foot-long drone made with a 3D printer
We end this piece with an idea equally or more amazing. THOR (which is an acronym for “Test of High-tech Objectives in Reality”) is an Airbus invention, an aircraft whose parts have been built entirely with a 3D printer. Yes, as crazy as it sounds.
The prototype, which weighs only 50 pounds, completed a successful first test flight between the German cities of Hamburg and Stade, about 40 km away.
Unlike the two previous projects, this plane could take a while to be produced commercially, but the possibilities are endless and very hopeful.