Maya is about to leave. She opens an app selects her usual vr gaming hangout, taps an icon for a small one person vehicle then uses a button that says “Now”. She closes the app grabs her bag and makes her way outside. As soon as she opens the door a whirring sound can be heard from the small one person car coming to pick Maya up. The future will have many types of transport but nearly all (on earth) will be autonomous and electric.
The Autonomous Electric Vehicle (AEV) of the future will come in all shapes and sizes from small cars to ships and jumbo jets. Due to the very low operating cost of AEVs they will be affordable for everyone to use. Taking an air taxi to the international airport and then flying across the world could cost the same as lunch. AEVs will be the internet for humans, allowing us to go anywhere quickly and cheaply.
Eliminating human controlled vehicles has the potential to end auto related accidents and allow for much more efficient use of roads. AEVs will be able to communicate with the environment around it. Other AEVs, road sensors, traffic lights, signs, road lights, etc would be able to broadcast all sorts of information that the AEV can use to make better and faster decisions. Traffic lights can tell cars how much longer until the light changes. Sensors can monitor road conditions, AEVs can communicate with each other. All this data will make transportation faster and safer.
AEVs will be designed for all use cases and bridge annoying gaps of transportation today. VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft will turn those 2-3 hour drives to 30 minute flights. 30 minute drives could be cut down dramatically as well. Traveling will be fast and inexpensive for all destinations which is important because in the future humans will have a lot of free time.
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