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Vehicles Of The Future Essay

1168 words - 5 pages

Vehicles of the Future

Over time, the technology of our vehicles has changed dramatically. Automobiles of the future will make use of future electronic technologies and propulsion systems. The first self-propelled car was created in 1769 and was powered by steam. (History of the Automobile) It was used to haul artillery at a max speed of 2.5mph and needed to stop multiples times per mile to build up steam. While 2.5mph is only a comfortable walking speed, the technology was extremely successful for railroad cars, which easily accompanied the large engine. In the early 1900s the only people that could afford cars were the very wealthy, and while a new electronically propelled car was being sold to replace steam technology it wasn’t very popular. When Henry Ford in 1913 started mass-producing internal combustion power in his Model T, the price came down and the middle class could afford personal transportation. Now in present day we have been relying on gasoline power for about 90 years and we are running out of fossil fuels. According to the General Motors Alternative Fuels homepage, GM is now selling Bi-fuel vehicles that run on a mix of ethanol and gasoline, which will effectively reduce emissions and fossil fuel consumption. Authors and artists depict the future of technology by creating vehicles that appear to defy physics. Both Snow Crash and Minority Report portray potential technological developments within the scope of the authors’ imagination.

The film Minority Report takes place in Washington DC in the future year of 2054. The first time we see the infrastructure of Washington, it is very apparent that some sort of alternative propulsion system is in use. The article ‘Lexus concepts in Minority Report’ states that DC is setup for personal pods that run on Magnetic Levitation. Magnetic levitation isn’t a new technology it has been discussed in the U.S.A. more than once, just never implemented. Maglev allows for frictionless travel by use of electromagnetism, which allows for much higher speed than conventional trains . Maglev technology will be adopted by the U.S.A. once more trains are in use on our soil. The price is currently estimated to cost between $10 million dollars and $30 million dollars per mile. (http://travel.howstuffworks.com/maglev-train3.htm) I do believe that in our future magnetic levitation will be the main means for transportation. Old Dominion University is finishing work on the nation’s first maglev train to serve their campus. Currently Baltimore-Washington DC, Pittsburgh and California are also working towards future use of maglev technology. (http://www.odu.edu/af/maglev/index.html) The pods in Minority Report only run on magnetic levitation so when traveling outside of a mag-lev grid, users would be forced to purchase a self- propelled vehicle. Forcing consumers to buy two vehicles isn’t very practical or ethical and would only allow the wealthy to travel outside their town. ...

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