During the 80’s, when people were highly creative with their new wave songs and multi-colored spandex, they brought about various predictions that would shock the reality of the 21st century. The ideas ranged from self-tying shoes and floating personal transportation, to individually-owned rocket booster packs and nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners.
It was even declared that helicopters will be the most common personal transportation of the “futuristic” decade.
Today, cars still reign as the most common transportation in the world. Helicopter may have been a cool way to get around. However, the unending supply of new ideas is now catching up with the olden predictions. Technology is making sure that the new always would come in to replace the old.
New types of cars are being developed non-stop throughout the years. Some of the documented and highly publicized successful predictions are on point. Some are still being developed. Some still needs a few more years until fruition. However, the dawn of cognitive thinking has brought about the emergence of unique innovations for the new generation to travel onto.
Hop on and check out the latest, the craziest and the wildest cars conceived by the 21st century man.
Take on the green-side of the road
Environmental impact has been a growing consideration in the development of various technological advancements of the 21st century. Transportation technology is among the widely checked science of the modern society. Since more and more vehicles are being created every day, the assembly line requires an overhaul.
This is when the ingenuity of the Filipinos comes into the picture.
A professor in the University of the Philippines has developed a fully functioning and practically 100% eco-friendly bamboo car! Professor Benjamin Mangubat is the mastermind behind the Bangkarwayan, one of the first organic vehicles in the world.
The Bangkarwayan is designed to be able to travel on land and in water. This innovative vehicle is the automotive child of a car and a boat, or bangka in Filipino. Made from bamboo, or kawayan, the amphibious car boasts of an ergonomic design and unique energy system – it runs on solar power and wind energy. Talk about using renewable energy sources.
Aside the Bangkarwayan, another Filipino stands out among the world leaders of design and innovation. The internationally known and multi-awarded furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue is the master of the Phoenix – a sleek 3-wheeled car made of bamboo.
The Phoenix has a more modern, more compact look as compared to the Bangkarwayan, but both cars are equally dynamic, eco-friendly and highly innovative. According to the team behind the creation of the Phoenix, the vehicle can be assembled within 2 weeks. Plus, it is customizable, giving a personal touch to the new spearhead of the modern road.
Inspired by the ethnic background of the inventor, the Bankarwayan and the Phoenix are the pioneering designs for a technologically advanced and environmentally adaptive vehicle. Since transportation is a key element to the development of the world itself, cars (and all other vehicles) should be able to grow, improve sustainability, and be the source of solution to all other human needs.
Soar high or run low
Being caught in heavy traffic is always a pain. It takes the fun away from driving. All that is left to do is just to go through it and hope for the best. Unless flying is an option.
Terrafugia is a technology leader that wants to merge the love for flying and driving into one futuristic package. They want to “catalyze a revolution in personal mobility”. The idea seems to be out of this world (for now). However, the car-sized aircraft boasts of standard-met safety, unparalleled mobility and wide-ranged freedom in meeting the needs of regular travel.
Seeing a “car” with a foldable wing amidst the regular 4-wheeler is a unique and exciting spectacle. According to Terrafugia, the airplane is street-legal, and the development of the actual, working vehicle is the initial milestone to a world where cars “normally” have the option to fly.
Flying side by side the aerial road, AeroMobil presents the world with their elegantly crafted flying automobiles. The AeroMobil 3.0 is their newest offering that has melded together the science behind cars and aircrafts. Following the overall built of a standard car, the flying car is manufactured using “advanced composite material” that practically makes up the whole vehicle. It even has a built-in parachute system to put a halt to the nagging feeling of possible travel danger. All in all, the features give the strength, safety and power of an aircraft that could fit in suburban homes’ garage.
Get on the road and follow the gold
During the previous centuries, cars have been considered a luxury. Today, practically everyone has at least a functioning car. It has become a necessity for productivity and convenience of a modern man.
Anyone can get a functional car for roughly around $2,000. For a fancier and more-interactive road vehicle, it can go around $10,000 to $30,000. In the growing society of luxury cars and unrelenting demand for car upgrades, the world is now at awe with the bright light of the world’s most expensive cars.
Behold, the leader of the pack – the Dh27m gold Lamborghini.
At a whopping $7.4 million, the Dh27m gold Lamborghini is just a thing of beauty (or a bit of crazy). Set by Lamborghini and Robert Gülpen, this golden magnificence is already on the history books as one of the most expensive vehicle up for auction. Good thing its price tag includes a hefty amount bound to charity.
The Dh27m gold Lamborghini definitely looked the part as King Midas’ armrest. However, the V12 engine and its roaring 700bhp can make everyone’s jaw drop in envy. Whoever is lucky enough to get on the driver’s seat, he can get a feel how a wheeled bar of gold could run 100kmph in under 3 seconds.
If 2013 was not enough for a grand year of the golden Aventador, Saudi billionaire Turki Bin Abdullah set 2016 as the year of the golden parade. London can now boast as one of Abdullah’s chosen site to exhibit his luxury, gold cars. The parade is at least £1 M strong, showing off a Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe, a Bentley Flying Spur, a Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6, and a Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeloce – all sporting the trademark opulent brilliance of gold.
Gold may be one of the most valuable materials on earth. However, it has a structural value that is more important than its attractive exterior. Nonetheless, whether these gold cars are sensible or not, it is still a luxurious way to go out for a night on the town, gallivanting on a bright, shiny golden ride.
Sleep on the road while driving
The imaginative, lazy man in every innovator has showcased life-changing inventions. It could be the most basic tool for everyday use, or the most niche product in improving the creation of antimatter. Bill Gates may definitely be onto something.
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
Hence, the self-driving car set foot into the automobile history.
It may sound a bit farfetched, but self-driving cars has caught up with the realities of the present. Automobile giants like Tesla, Mercedes and BMW have taken the lead in developing, mastering and harnessing the power of car physics as part of their product features.
Not to be outdone, Google steps into the limelight and takes a share of the technology pie. They are now testing their prototype of cars where drivers can do anything other than driving the car itself. California roads may be one of the firsts to get a glimpse of this unique scene.
For those who are preparing their checkbooks to buy one of these ingenious products, self-driving car have two types – fully autonomous and semi-autonomous.
A fully autonomous car practically is driver-devoid vehicle in which it can travel from one point to another without almost completely (if not at all) needing any assistance from an operator. This type of driverless car is set to be out within the next three years. On the other hand, the semi-autonomous car has a feature which the driver can opt to set during certain periods in the drive.
Improved road safety is one of the most important benefits of self-driving cars. By the time it becomes a 10-million car strong industry, road accidents might have gone down significantly. However, the fact remains that this technology is at a drastically higher cost compared to the traditional ones.
The ultimate goal of this innovative endeavor is to improve the lives of people while they are on the road. For this to work, cost should have gone down within three to four years time to create a safer road network for all.
Otherwise, all the ideas and prototypes are as good as junk cars.
There is always something new every day. It could be a new gadget, a new medicine or a new way to travel. What matters is the value that the latest improvement has to offer to the society. Innovation should be aimed to further the development of the human race, and create a world worth living in for future innovations and technologies to come.
Otherwise, the futuristic light that might have been cast is all for nought.