Top Ten Emerging Transportation Technologies

Top Ten Emerging Transportation Technologies


  1. Teleportation/Jumprooms/Portals
    Teleportation is the transfer of matter from one point to another without traversing the physical space between them. According to some researchers of government projects, the CIA allegedly has a jumproom from a location in Southern California to a destination on Mars.
    Links: Top Ten Chrononauts,
  2. Antigravity Spacecraft

    In physical cosmology, astronomy and celestial mechanics, anti-gravity is the idea of creating a place or object that is free from the force of gravity. It does not refer to the lack of weight under gravity experienced in free fall or orbit, nor to balancing the force of gravity with some other force, such as electromagnetism or aerodynamic lift. Instead, anti-gravity requires that the fundamental causes of the force of gravity be made either not present or not applicable to the place or object through some kind of technological intervention. Anti-gravity is a recurring concept in science fiction, particularly in the context of spacecraft propulsion. The concept was first introduced formally as “Cavorite” in H. G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon, and has been a favorite item of imaginary technology since that day. In the first mathematically accurate description of gravity, Newton’s law of universal gravitation, gravity was an external force transmitted by unknown means. However in the early part of the 20th century Newton’s model was replaced by the more general and complete description known as general relativity. In general relativity, gravity is not a force in the traditional sense of the word, but the result of the geometry of space itself. These geometrical solutions always cause attractive “forces.” Under general relativity, anti-gravity is highly unlikely, except under contrived circumstances that are regarded as unlikely or impossible. The term “anti-gravity” is also sometimes used to refer to hypothetical reactionless propulsion drives based on certain solutions to general relativity, although these do not oppose gravity as such. There are numerous newer theories that add onto general relativity or replace it outright, and some of these appear to allow anti-gravity-like solutions. Lifters, which fly in the air due to electromagnetic fields, are an example of these “antigravity craft.”
    Links: Top Ten Military Aircraft/Spacecraft,,
  3. Pre-Cooled Jet Engines

           A pre-cooled jet engine is a concept for high speed jet engines that features a cryogenic fuel-cooled heat exchanger immediately after the air intake, to pre-cool the air entering the engine. After gaining heat and vaporizing in the heat exchanger system, the fuel (e.g. H2) is burnt in the combustor. Pre-cooled jet engines have never flown, but are predicted to have much higher thrust and efficiency at speeds up to Mach 5.5. Pre-cooled jet engines were described by Robert P. Carmichael in 1955. Unlike Liquid Air Cycle Engines (LACE), pre-cooled engines simply cool, but do not liquefy the air. A potential application for a pre-cooled turbojet is as part of the power plant for a space launcher vehicle, or for a very long range, very high speed aircraft.
    Links: Top Ten Aircraft,,
  4. Scramjet

    A scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) is a variant of a ramjet air breathing combustion jet engine in which the combustion process takes place in supersonic airflow. As in ramjets, a scramjet relies on high vehicle speed to forcefully compress and decelerate the incoming air before combustion (hence ramjet), but whereas a ramjet decelerates the air to subsonic velocities before combustion, airflow in a scramjet is supersonic throughout the entire engine. This allows the scramjet to efficiently operate at extremely high speeds: theoretical projections place the top speed of a scramjet between Mach 12 and Mach 24, which is near orbital velocity. For comparison, the fastest manned air breathing aircraft, the SR-71 Blackbird, has a maximum speed of Mach 3.2. The scramjet is composed of three basic components: a converging inlet, where incoming air is compressed and decelerated; a combustor, where gaseous fuel is burned with atmospheric oxygen to produce heat; and a diverging nozzle, where the heated air is accelerated to produce thrust. Unlike a typical jet engine, such as a turbojet or turbofan engine, a scramjet does not use rotating, fan-like components to compress the air; rather, the incredible speed of the aircraft moving through the atmosphere causes the air to compress within the nozzle. As such, very few moving parts are needed in a scramjet, which greatly simplifies both the design and operation of the engine. In comparison, typical turbojet engines require inlet fans, multiple stages of rotating compressor fans, and multiple rotating turbine stages, all of which add weight, complexity, and a greater number of failure points to the engine. It is this simplicity that allows scramjets to operate at such high velocities, as the conditions encountered in hypersonic flight severely hamper the operation of conventional turbomachinery. Due to the nature of their design, scramjet operation is limited to near-hypersonic velocities. As they lack mechanical compressors, scramjets require the high kinetic energy of a hypersonic flow to compress the incoming air to operational conditions. Thus, a scramjet-powered vehicle must be accelerated to the required velocity by some other means of propulsion, such as turbojet or rocket engines. In the flight of the experimental scramjet-powered Boeing X-51A, the test craft was lifted to flight altitude by a turbofan powered B-52 before being released and accelerated by a detachable rocket to near Mach 4.5. While scramjets are conceptually simple, actual implementation is limited by extreme technical challenges. Hypersonic flight within the atmosphere generates immense drag, and temperatures found on the aircraft and within the engine can be nearly six-times greater than that of the surrounding air. Maintaining combustion in the supersonic flow presents additional challenges, as the fuel must be injected, mixed, ignited, and burned within milliseconds. While scramjet technology has been under development since the 1950’s, only very recently have scramjets successfully achieved powered flight.
  5. Non-Rocket Spacelaunch

    Non-rocket spacelaunch (NRS) is the idea of reaching outer space specifically from the Earth’s surface predominately without the use of conventional chemical rockets, which today is the only method in use. Transportation to orbit is one factor in the expense of space endeavors; if it can be made more efficient the total cost of space flight can be reduced. Present-day launch costs are very high, $10,000 to $25,000 per kilogram from Earth to low Earth orbit, though some countries subsidize launches to prices nearer $4,000. To settle space, space exploration and space colonization, much cheaper launch methods are required, as well as a way to avoid serious damage to the atmosphere from the thousands, perhaps millions, of launches required. Another benefit may be increased safety and reliability of launches, which, in addition to lower cost, would avail for space disposal of radioactive waste. Once having overcome the Earth gravity barrier, vehicles may instead use other, non-rocket-based methods of propulsion, e.g. ion thrusters, which have a higher propellant efficiency (specific impulse) and potential maximum velocity than conventional rockets, but are not suitable for space launch. Several alternatives to conventional chemical rockets have been proposed. In some systems a rocket is involved, but it ignites after reaching space in another manner. Some technologies for alternative ways to get to space besides the traditional spacelaunch include launch loop, lightcraft, mass driver, space gun, space elevator and the Space fountain.
  6. Personal Aircraft

    A personal aerial vehicle, personal air vehicle or PAV is a class of light general aviation aircraft which meets design and performance goals intended to make flying as commonplace as driving. NASA, in 2005, refined the definition of a PAV in the fifth Centennial Challenge initiative, which it funds in conjunction with the CAFE Foundation.
    Links: Top Ten Personal Aircrafts/Watercraft, Top Ten Hannah Barbara Cartoons,,
  7. Jet Pack

    The Martin Jetpack is a personal helicopter. Its tradename calls it a “jet pack,” but is not jet- or rocket-powered. It has been developed by the Martin Aircraft Company of New Zealand, and was unveiled on July 29, 2008 at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s 2008 AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. It is classified by the Federal Aviation Administration as an experimental ultralight airplane. Unlike earlier devices called “jetpacks,” the Martin Jetpack is the first to be considered a practical device. It has been under development for over 27 years and uses a gasoline (premium) engine with two ducted fans to provide lift. Theoretically it can reach a speed of 60 miles per hour, an altitude of 8,000 feet, and fly for about 30 minutes on a full fuel tank. It costs $86,000. Martin Aircraft plans to deliver the first jetpacks to ten customers in early 2010.
    Links: Top Ten Personal Aircrafts/Watercraft,,
  8. Hover Bike

    Links: Top Ten Personal Aircrafts/Watercraft,
  9. Electric Cars

    An electric car is a plug-in battery powered automobile which is propelled by electric motor(s). Although electric cars often give good acceleration and have generally acceptable top speed, the lower specific energy of production batteries available in 2010 compared with fossil fuels means that electric cars have relatively low range between charges, and recharging can take significant lengths of time. For shorter range commuter type journeys, rather than long journeys, electric cars are practical forms of transportation and can be inexpensively recharged overnight. Longer range journey options are currently being pursued by installing battery swapping station infrastructure throughout several pilot cities such as Tokyo. Electric cars have the potential of significantly reducing city pollution by having zero tail pipe emissions. Vehicle greenhouse gas savings depend on how the electricity is generated. With the current U.S. energy mix, using an electric car would result in a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Given the current energy mixes in other countries, it has been predicted that such emissions would decrease by 40% in the UK, 19% in China and as little as 1% in Germany. Electric cars are expected to have a major impact in the auto industry given advantages in city pollution, less dependence on oil and expected rise in gasoline prices.
    Links: Top 100 Cars, Top Ten Electric Cars, Top Ten Thomas Edison Inventions,
  10. Prosthetic Gills

    Artificial gills are a device to let a human take in oxygen from surrounding water. This technology does not exist yet or is in early stage of being developed.
    Links: Top 100 GadgetsTop Ten Personal Aircraft/Watercraft Technologies,,
  11. Personal Rapid Transit / High Speed Rail

    Personal rapid transit (PRT), also called personal automated transport (PAT) or podcar, is a public transportation system comprising small (typically envisaged as around four seats), automated vehicles on a network of specially-built guide ways. PRT systems are a subset of automated guideway transit (AGT) systems, which also includes larger vehicles all the way to small subway systems. A key feature of PRT systems is that they do not stop at every station. Instead, they are designed to make a nonstop journey to the destination individual users have selected, and bypass intermediate stations, which are on separate tracks, running parallel to the main track and accessed via switches. In theory, therefore, PRT can offer faster end-to-end journey times than other forms of transit, though this depends on running speed and the nature of the network. The point-to-point service has been compared to a taxi (early documents referred to the concept as “dial-a-taxi,” coined in an era when computerized touch tone services were being introduced) and a horizontal lift. AGT systems with intermediate stops are sometimes known as “group rapid transit” (GRT) when discussing PRT systems. PRTs were a major area of study in the 1960’s and 1970’s, promoted as the best solution to the widespread urban decay being seen in the US. Urban planners noted that cities with well developed mass transit systems did not suffer these effects to the same degree, and suggested that similar systems would slow the problem in suburbs and small cities, in which light rail was uneconomical to provide. In this period only one fully operational system was built, the Morgantown PRT which was opened in 1975. This suffered significant cost overruns and attracted criticism from users, possibly discouraging other cities to take up what had been a promising technology. In the 2000’s, several proposals had begun to be put forward, showing a renewed interest in the concept. In October 2008, construction of the guideway of a pilot project at London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom based on ULTra was completed. With completion of the guideway, fit out of the stations and track could begin. As of August 2010, however, the system is not yet open to the public.
  12. Links: Emerging Technologies,

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