Whatever happened to the jet-pack, the flying car, the monorail, the personalised Lear jet? Or how about Maglev taxis, automated highways and long-haul flights by space shuttle? All these fantastic transport ideas were commonplace utopian ambitions for the future as imagined by the Sixties generation. Most of them were even technologically possible back then.
Today, if there is ever mention of anything so fanciful, it is dismissed as at best unsustainable, at worst irresponsible. Nowadays, aviation policy demands restraint, eco-towns are designed to encourage us to walk not drive, and transport gurus – like Boris and Dave-style politicians - cycle to work, while manned space travel is deemed too risky. Are future transport visions doomed to be of the modest ‘feet on the ground’ variety, or might we hope for more exciting sci-fi possibilities?
founder and organiser, SCI-FI-LONDON, the London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film.
founder, The Movement Design Bureau; European council member, Spark Design Awards; edits Re*Move blog.
senior lecturer, Information Systems, Open University; academic consultant, James May's 20th Century
A Swiss pilot's attempt to become the first person to fly solo across the English Channel using a single jet-propelled wing has been delayed.BBC News, 25 September 2008
There are no drivers, no rails, no timetables and no emissions. But, most importantly for passengers, there are no queues.Lucy Rodgers, BBC News, 18 December 2007
Sci Fi transport as you read about it first.technovelgy.com
"...invigorating, absorbing, and highly educative - delicious and nourishing food for thought..."
Prof AC Grayling, philosopher