The history of future travel / Hong Kong 3, ABC Far North

Humans are born with the travel itch, always eager to travel to and experience exotic lands.

In the last 100 years we have stepped up the speed and accessibility of long haul travel, with the cost of a Melbourne – London flight in the 1940’s costing of 122X the average weekly salary and taking about 3 days, and today it’s under 1 week salary and soon under 20 hours.

And there’s loads more of us flying, in 2016 3.6 billion people flew in 2030 this should rise to 6.7 billion, with the largest growth sectors in the Asia pacific regions..

On the eve of Qantas landing its first Dreamliner plane in Australia, and the promise of Perth – London direct and other long haul non stop flights on the horizon, we chatted this week about the future of long haul travel and asked will we ever see another significant change in the way we travel and the speed we travel at.

Last week Sir Richard Branson announced a £186m investment in Virgin Hyperloop One, the fast train recently touted by Elon Musk, and was first spoken about in the 1890’s, thats puts people inside a pod that is inside a vacuum tube and send them from Melbourne to Sydney in under an hour.

Dubai also announced last week the introduction of a face scanning walk through immigration tunnel that figures out who you are, where you’ve been, and what your visit intentions are all within the 15 seconds it takes you to walk through the tunnel and stare at the pretty pictures along the way, if all’s good your literally green lighted and “Welcome to Dubai” if not your red carded and a human steps in to have a chat.

One of my favorite all time future travel modes is the space elevator, Arthur C Clarke wrote about it in his 1979 The Fountains of Paradise,  and scientists and engineers have believed for many decades that one day we will be able to build a space elevator that we can travel the 36000 kilometres from down here to a space station or hotel up there (most probably a 5 day journey). As strange as this may seem Japanese firm Obayashi is investing in it and exploring nano fibre carbon as perhaps being the game changing technology that allows us to finally build it.

One future certainty is that we will continue to travel, but how and in what and how long it will take are all up for innovation and invention, so listen in now to these two interviews and then share your thoughts and Sci-fi dreams of future travel.

Kier Shorey, ABC Far North, 23rd October 2017 (12 mins 31 secs)

Barry Nicholls, ABC WA Drive Regional, 6 October 2017 (12 mins 31 secs)




Eye on the Future - Oct 23, 2017 | All, Business, Horizon Trends, Radio Interview, Technology, Transport
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