Our modes of transportation haven’t changed radically in decades. But how we get from Point A to Point B could look very different in the future, based on developments we’ve seen this year. The hard part will be making it all practical.
Traditional car makers have joined Google in developing driverless car technology—but how soon will it be before we really are willing to let our hands off the wheel? Visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk put forth his grand vision for the future of transportation, a hyped-up plan for a self-powered train that travels twice as fast as an airplane. But would anyone ever build it? Or perhaps, as oil prices rise, we’ll one day all be driving around cars powered by air batteries?
Look below for more of the best ideas for the future of transportation (and, if you're curious, check out last year's list here).
The helium-powered Pelican will be able to carry 66 tons of cargo, and doesn’t need a runway to take off or land. It recently made an important step: getting off the ground.
Because every public transportation station could use some skylights and odor detectors.
Evan Booth hacks together working weapons—like a shotgun, a grenade, and a crossbow—with purchases anyone can make after they go through security, to show that the TSA is more spectacle than real protection. And the FBI is taking notice.
The SeaOrbiter will allow researchers to swim into parts of the deep ocean, where no one has gone before.
The Elf combines the best elements of an electric car, a motorcycle, and a bicycle, and it’s manufactured right here in the U.S. There’s something for everyone to love.
The Citi.Transmitter is an adorable single seat modular transportation device, designed to solve our urban traffic problems.
Instead of crushes of humanity and bureaucracy, airports are starting to get more personalized and more civilized, as the fantasy of what an airport could be gets real.
A new "smart highway" being developed in the Netherlands has lane lines made by lights that can be altered and even lights up a warning when it gets icy.
The man behind Tesla and SpaceX has released the plans to his highly anticipated new mode of transportation that can take you from L.A. to San Francisco in under an hour. Will this change transportation, or should we call it a "don’t believe the hype-r loop?"
Two weeks before his Hyperloop announcement, Musk quietly met with the founder of ET3, an even-faster, already patented tube transport system.
Peugeot Citroen’s new C3 VTi 82 will have what they’re calling an air-hybrid system. Will it be the first car to take air power to the mainstream?
The difference between this Dutch city and most North American commuter towns is that it actually makes good on its promise of safety, security, and good health.
Move over, Google. Audi just became the second company to be licensed to run autonomous vehicles in Nevada. As we saw at an exhibition of the tech from its Electronic Research Laboratory, its cars are already well on their way to ditching the driver.
Most construction projects aren’t much to look at. New York’s new 2nd Avenue under-construction subway line is an exception—a truly impressive monument to human ingenuity.
Read more of our best stories of the year in these categories: Top stories, infographics, photography, maps, buildings, design, cities, food, transportation, innovative workplaces, bikes, collaborative consumption, energy, crowdfunding, robots, environment, health, education