In the world of transport technology, many things that we once thought are never going to happen, have either become a reality or will likely go mainstream in the future. For instance, even hardcore sci-fi enthusiasts would not have imagined flying cars to be future technology. However, as things stand, many companies are testing air taxi. Not all transportation technologies have become popular, though. There are technologies that showed initial promise but have ultimately become dead due to various reasons. Here, we will take a look at those technologies that might have changed transportation as we know it.
Over 100 years ago, moving sidewalks were supposed to revolutionize the notion of walking by relieving humans of the duty of it. The world’s first moving walkway came at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and a similar product resurfaced at the 1900 Paris Exposition. These world fairs were known for their mind-boggling visions of the future, and an auto-walk was only among the many concepts.
Today, these are mostly limited to airports to help travelers who need to walk longer with luggage to reach their gates.
Micro-cars came out due to renewed innovation after the devastation caused by the Second World War. Fast forward to today, go-karts are the only prevalent single-seaters, but sometimes a mainstream manufacturer attempts to run with this idea. One doubts whether car manufacturers can develop it further, and in turn, help make it mainstream.
American military pursued the concept for a computerized backpack capable of turning the wearer into one “human rocket” in earnest. They managed to form and demonstrate one in 1961. Actor Sean Connery wore this device to evade bad guys in 1965’s James Bond film Thunderball. In 1967, the jetpack craze of the public reached a critical point when helmeted flyers flew very close to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The moment occurred during Super Bowl I halftime, and it caused excitement among thousands of spectators gathered at the stadium.
Jet packs technically exist even today, but these are found in the garages of eccentric tinkerers or in Hollywood stunts. Some of these devices blast the user towards the sky with water. An example is propulsion units worn by astronauts on the backsides of spacesuits to float in zero gravity condition with a semblance of direction and control.