With cities growing inexorably and urban life becoming increasingly overcrowded, a need for new, more efficient modes of transport has surfaced. Environmentally-friendly transport is a key concern for present day urban planners and engineers, and as a consequence we are seeing all kinds of daring designs and brilliant new ideas. Although teleportation and hovering cars are yet to materialise, there are a number of truly innovative modes of transport that have been developed and are in use now. Climb on board the future express and see what lies ahead for us in various cities around the world.
Shanghai – the Maglev Train
The fastest train in the world, Shanghai’s Maglev Train linking the airport and the city centre uses magnetic levitation to eliminate friction. This German engineered technology allows for faster, quieter and smoother travel. The Maglev train covers a distance of 30km in an astonishing 7 minutes and 20 seconds. You’ll arrive at your hotel in central Shanghai in the blink of an eye. It’s an exciting experience: as the scenery rushes past, you can check the displays in each carriage showing the train’s current speed, these trains can reach up to 430km per hour (267 mph).
Paris – Sea Bubble
A new form of flying water taxi has recently been developed by a Frenchman, and in June 2017 it was tested in Paris. The Sea Bubble uses hydrofoil technology and is powered by batteries, meaning it’s a super eco-friendly form of transport. No carbon emissions, no noise, and very little disturbance of the water as the small craft appears to hover around 50cm above the water. The Paris mayor is a big fan, and hopes to see a fleet of them in use within a few years. Very soon, you could perhaps ask the concierge to call a Sea Bubble to your hotel near the Seine in Paris. Many other cities around the globe are keen to launch Sea Bubble city transport too – is an urban travel revolution on its way?
Lyon – Navly, the autonomous shuttle
The French city of Lyon is leading the way in cutting edge urban transport: it has launched a driverless autonomous electric shuttle. Free to use, the 15-person shuttle will connect the shopping centre and the south of the city, with five stops along the banks of the river Saone. The route has no crossings or traffic lights and the shuttle is limited to speeds of 28 kilometres per hour. Although the shuttle drives itself, a staff member is always present on board to answer questions and ensure passenger safety. Book your stay at a hotel in Lyon to be one of the first passengers on these pioneering driverless shuttles navigating the streets of Lyon.
Berlin – Urban Ropeway
There’s a new way to get about town in Berlin. An environmentally friendly and wheelchair accessible urban ropeway cable car system has been built for the International Garden Show 2017. It takes passengers swiftly and silently over the Kienbergpark, offering a birds eye view of the spectacular garden show, with its water features, themed gardens, and the various gardens of the world. There’s also a vertical garden and a natural bobsleigh run. After a 5 minute journey in a state of the art cabin, passengers arrive at Blumberger Damm, where they will find the exhibition hall and food market. Book a room in Berlin and use the ropeway to visit the innovative and futuristic International Garden Show, which runs until 15th October 2017. After this date, the ropeway will continue to operate: locals and tourists alike will be able to use it to get from one neighbourhood to another, over the park.