I wonder what the road networks of the future will be like. Will they be engineered to meet the specific needs of self-driving cars? Will they be constructed entirely of solar panels, which somehow power the cars driving on them? Will they use some as-yet unknown technology to teleport travel pods along at such small, continuous increments that they appear to be moving through space in the usual way, albeit atop a floating stretch of neon hologram? The possibilities are endless.
Of course, another of those possibilities is that things will be pretty much as they are now, except that there’ll be more roads, probably layered vertically, to accommodate a growing number of drivers. That seems realistic, but it means we’ll need more engineers with specialisation in designing road networks and infrastructure.
Look, I think it goes without saying that I’m not a traffic engineering consultant. Within Melbourne, though, there are people who have that as their area of specialisation, which seems to indicate that it’s a legitimate field with potential for growth. If that is the case, then I guess it’s possible for those more far-fetched visions of the future to come to fruition, especially if the traffic engineers start getting involved in multi-disciplinary collaborations with, like… people who make holograms and teleportation devices.
Can you imagine being a developer circa 2070 and commissioning a traffic impact report, which recommends improving your new site’s green transport credentials by adding a long-distance teleportation pad to your development? In my imagination, this can be used for both incoming persons (risky, but efficient) and whisking away excess cars to an off-site overflow car park so they’re not cluttering up the hoverbike lanes.
What do you think? I’m willing to admit that this vision is probably about as accurate as a vision of 2020 articulated in the 1950s – somewhat on point, but clouded by the logic of the present day.