We live in a world where technology is doubling every year, sometimes at an even faster rate than that. This technology has no doubt brought many benefits to our civilization. Five years ago, could you have imagined self driving cars being proto-typed and just beginning to be introduced to the market? Ten years ago, would you have ever imagined that you would be able to hold all the information known to the world, in a small device that you keep in your pocket?
The truth is that with the way technology has been accelerating recently, it’s as if science fiction will no longer be science fiction. When classic franchises like Star Wars or Star Trek were released decades ago, they seemed like a fantasy. Now, it almost seems as though the technology in those franchises will be within our grasp in maybe twenty or so years.
But there’s one questions that you must ask yourself: is technology always beneficial? The advancement of technology stems from inventions, and there’s no doubt that many inventions have brought great benefit to people, while other inventions took a drastic step back.
Right now, we’re going to take a look at technology and how it pertains to recent transportation devices that have been invented…and why they might be considered a step back, rather than a step forward when it comes to technological advances. It may be good to step out of the box, but ultimately, the following transportation devices are probably more humorous than they are useful.
Bicycles are so simple and so useful, only consisting of two wheels, a frame, handlebars and a seat. Nearly every American family has at least one bike in their garage and use it at least some of the time. So you have to ask yourself, why would someone think it is necessary to ‘innovate’ the bicycle? Well, whoever invented the Hyperbike sure did. But the Hyperbike is quite baffling in that it requires the entire human body to move it; you have to pedal with your hands and feet, meaning that you will essentially be using every last ounce of your energy after using it. Also, where are you supposed to ride this thing? It’s far too large to be ridden on a normal bike path, and it probably takes up such a large part of your garage, that you’ll have to park one of your cars in the driveway. On the bright side, it seems like a great device for exercising
It’s always been rather difficult to cross a large body of water, and people have been trying to find a solution for that throughout our history. An excellent solution was found when the boat was introduced, as they were reliable to use, floated on water and had the ability to go to high speeds, making them very efficient. But the inventor of the Aquaskipper seems to think that boats were not the perfect solution. The Aquaskipper ‘works’ by allowing the user to use a metal pole to propel themselves across the water…but a lot of the time, this thing doesn't even float. Why is this even available on the market?
The Monowheel is very similar to the Hyperbike, in that it can’t really be ridden where normal bikes can be, and it takes up a lot of space. The only place where you can drive this thing is really in a large parking lot with no cars. You’ll just have to see the Monowheel to believe it; it’s undoubtedly creative, but it’s also undoubtedly very inefficient.
The concept behind the Funicular is basically two cars that are attached to each other on a cable that runs up a slope. The logic behind it is that the two cars counterbalance each other, as one heads up and the other heads down. The funicular has found at least some success over the other transportation devices on this list, but it’s quite slow, and in the face of other transportation devices these days, it’s also quite unnecessary.
The Aeroscraft is an air vehicle that saw a prototype being launched in 2010. It is designed to hold a lot of cargo and transport lots of passengers in luxury seating, and can take off and land without an airstrip. But one doesn't need to pay close attention to the Aeroscraft to realize that it’s really just a modern day Zeppelin or blimp. Chances are, people will stick to using airplanes.
4 Personal Jet Pack
Personal jet packs have featured prominently in movies, books and other media, but now, some companies are trying to make them a reality. Allegedly, these things can fly at sixty miles per hour with a flight time of thirty minutes on a full tank. They are estimated to cost over one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and be fully available to the general public in just a few years. But if anything, the jet pack sounds more like an expensive safety hazard than a legitimate transportation devices.
3 Shweeb Monorail
The Shweeb Monorail is a proposed rapid transit network that is based on monorail cars. It has been designed in New Zealand, but after years of marketing, no company or country has yet to adopt the Shweeb Monorail for use. Why? Because it’s a completely redundant transportation system, and more closely resembles a theme park ride if anything. It would also be very expensive and difficult to set up in large cities, which is why everyone is choosing to stick with cars, buses and subways for now.
2 Electric Bicycles
Electric bicycles are essentially supposed to combine the comfort of a car, with the simplicity of a bike. There’s no denying that electric bikes look extremely well made and beautiful, and perhaps worth the high price tag. But the catch is that electric bicycles only have an effective range of ten miles, and serious cyclists travel with their bikes far more than that. That’s not to mention how the bike’s range is likely to decrease over time and use.
Like the jet pack, the hovercraft has featured prominently in books and movies. It is capable of traveling over both land and water. Sounds great on paper, right? Well, just because it sounds great on paper doesn't necessarily mean it works great in real life. In reality, Hovercrafts are much noisier than they are depicted in movies, and they burn up quite a lot of fuel. And yes, they can travel over both land and water…but only over very smooth surfaces. If there happens to be a large rock or a wave in the way, that’s all it takes to throw the hovercraft off course, or to stop it completely. With the acceleration of technology, we hope the minor hiccups that the Hovercraft presents will be modified in the near future. But for now, we'll admit it would still be really awesome to own one of these bad boys.