Blade Runner 2049 is one of my favorite movies of the last year. As an innovation professional, I am fascinated by future visions of society and technology that are offered by great science fiction. Director Denis Villeneuve’s masterpiece is situated in a post-apocalyptic world ridden with smog and affected by climate change.

Villeneuve and his crew especially explored the future of transportation. Police officers fly around in so-called “Spinners”, flying vehicles that park on rooftops. Cars are guided by Artificial Intelligence and have 3 wheels.

Is this a realistic vision of the year 2049? The future may be even a lot more innovative…

The technological future offered by the movie is awe-inspiring, but the world we will be living in will be bleak. I seem to be a more optimistic person than Blade Runner‘s writer. I think we can shape a future where technology will help overcome humanity’s problems.

Why We Have to Innovate Before It's 2049

Let’s be honest, the problems the younger generations are facing are enormous. It will be impossible to describe them all in this short piece. So, inspired by the flying cars in Blade Runner, I will focus on problems facing the transportation world. In my estimation these are the biggest issues in this field:

The population explosion: According to the United Nations, the current world population is expected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050. This will result in overcrowded cities with longer and more traffic jams.

Environmental problems: Though hotly debated, manyscientists agree that global warming is real and a threat to the Earth’s future. Undertaking CO2 reductions will only be possible if driving on fossil fuels will be drastically reduced.

Tighter government budgets: Many governments are forced to cut spending. Because public transport is a concession business, governments can require cost-efficiency.

At a flipside, technology is evolving quickly. New innovations in solar energy, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality promise a bright future. What if… the problems described above will be tackled by state-of-the-art innovation? Below I sketch a possible scenario for the year 2049:

  • No More Cars on Fossil Fuels

After environmental lobbies will have convinced governments to ban cars on fossil fuels, alternative forms of transformation will be established as of 2049. So, cars will be driven by solar energy or hydrogen – many of them driverless.

  • Where Flies My Uber?

In the cities, the Hyperloop will be the most common means of transport to go to work: A pod carrying passengers conveyed at high speed through a system of tubes. The Hyperloop will be a sustainable solution that runs only on its own generated power. Because of the efficient nature of the Hyperloop and Uber‘s flying taxi service, less people will travel by car, decreasing traffic jams. 

  • Smart Transportation

All vehicles – for both individual and public transport – will be assisted by Artificial Intelligence software. These smart solutions will predict the routes without traffic jams and computate the most efficient speed relating to arrival time, environmental effects, and energy consumption. 

  • Transportation? Which Transportation?

New developments in Augmented Reality have resulted in holograms that are almost real. Though many workers in the service and manufacturing industries have to go to their place of work every day, knowledge workers don’t have to leave their houses to collaborate. The future of transportation will be a future with much less transportation.

If my predictions will come true, 2049 will be a great year. To make this vision a reality, I ask you to keep innovating and disrupting. At RevelX, we are at your disposal to make your future dream come true. Our headquarters are accessible with car, train, Hyperloop, or bicycle.

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