How will we travel in the future?

By | Category: Travel news
hyperloop plan

an early hyperloop design© Tesla Motors

Over the last few months, Just about Travel has run a few stories about plans for hyperloop links between san Francisco and Los Angeles, in India and the Middle East. There has even been a suggestion by Richard Branson about a hyperloop linking Heathrow and Gatwick.

Meanwhile we have HS2 that will save us time heading either south to London or to the north from London. Cross rail – opening this year – will make it faster to cross the bottleneck that is London.

Every few years, someone suggests a return to supersonic plane transport and more us rely on an electric socket to fuel our cars rather than carry a spare can of petrol.

Travelzoo in conjunction with ITB (the German travel trade show which is on this week) have been researching what we ordinary mortals think of these high-tech solutions that are entering our lives. Do we really look forward to them? Are we nervous or even a little bit scared of the changes? Do we care or will we treat it as a logical progression?

Hyperloop 1. Image © Virgin

Based on interviews with 6,008 consumers in Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, over half of responders expect to see self-driving cars as the norm by 2030. Just under a third expected to see hyperloops and planes powered by alternative fuels in common usage. Only 28% expected a return of supersonic passenger flights.

Overwhelmingly, responders felt that there would be a reduction in emissions, congestion and reliance on traditional fuel sources will improve the environment. They also felt that there would be faster travel times.

But whilst we might think this will be the norm in the future how comfortable are we with it?

Concord – despite the technology 55% of people have safety worries about supersonic transport. Image © Aerospace Bristol

Just over three quarters of responders said that they would not trust driverless or pilotless technology enough to travel in it and 78% felt that they would be ‘very’ or ‘quite’ worried about its safety and reliability. 55% of them were also ‘very’ or ‘quite’ worried about the safety and reliability of supersonic aircraft and hyperloops. As for drones, just 8% said they would be comfortable flying in one.

Not only do responders distrust emerging forms of travel they also feel it isn’t for them. Eight out of ten believe they’ll be a luxury only a few can afford, and 60% doubt they would make travel more affordable. Only 4% of respondents state they are prepared to pay ‘much more’ than they do now for their holiday travel.

You could be forgiven for concluding from this study that whilst the technology is there, people aren’t yet ready to either pay or feel safe using them!

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