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Technology To Look For in 2018

Companies, industries, and government programs also make New Year’s Resolutions like us. Unlike ours, however, their resolutions actually come to fruition. As Avery Brooks, famous actor, singer and musician said in his famous ad, “It’s 2000, but where are the flying cars?” One company, Terrafugia, is working to produce road- and sky-worthy flying cars, vehicles with car-like bodies and fold-out wings and engines. Terrafugia says, “{our} mission is to create practical flying cars that enable a new dimension of personal freedom.” With this goal in mind, Terrafugia is testing two prototype models: the TF-X and the Transition. Currently, the Transition, aptly named because of its ability to turn from car into plane, is the more practical of the two because it is actually available for the average citizen, but still unlike the common person’s vision of a ‘flying car’. It is more of an ultra-light aircraft than a car, but incredible nonetheless.

 

 

 

 

 

Terrafugia’s Transition (image from terrafugia.com)

Amazingly, the Massachusetts-based company hopes to get the Transition mainstream sometime during 2018. Conversely, the TF-X, definitely the more eye-drawing of the two, has the body of a car with a pair of wings on the back. Attached to these retractable wings are two engines which provide the VTOL characteristic of the car. VTOL stands for Vertical-Take-Off-and-Landing. As the acronym implies, this car can take off like a helicopter and cruise through the skies like a regular plane. Another ducted fan on the back of the car helps the vehicle to maintain flying speeds of 200 mph. Regardless of the differences, both of the models are incredible and awe-inspiring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terrafugia’s TF-X (image from terrafugia.com)

On a more global scale, NASA is launching several important missions in 2018. Specifically, two missions, InSight Mars Lander and Parker Solar Probe, possess novel and incredible technologies. The InSight Mars Lander mission is sending a robot to Mars to collect data specifically about the soil on Mars—similar to the Curiosity Rover. This rover’s launch was delayed in 2016, re-approved by NASA, and is targeted to take to space in early May. The drill on the InSight is similar to that of the Curiosity, but can drill farther down and gather more data through more complex sensors. These sensors read information such as the hardness of the soil, the possibility of water in the soil, and ore samples in the rock.This is just a small sample of the complex functions of the Rover.

One more fantastic form of transportation is called the Hyperloop. It is a pressurized capsule that transports people at speeds of 600 mph though vacuum tubes. A vacuum tube has all of its air pumped out so it is nearly frictionless inside. These tubes will connect cities and possibly countries. How does the capsule propel itself? Basically, the capsule is a wingless airplane on magnetized skis. These skis would boost the capsule as it began its rocketing journey. Most importantly, a massive fan in the ends of the tube would push the A simplified version of this system is already used to transport mail through buildings.Small tubes containing letters and the like are sucked though their tubes at high velocities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A conceptual drawing of the Hyperloop (Image from digitaltrends.com)

All of these technologies, and more, will be displayed and marketed at the upcoming technology fair, CES-2018, in Las Vegas from January 9th to 12th. This world-renowned event showcases the best technology, designers, masterminds, and engineers. Self-driving cars, robotic prosthetics, robotic vacuum cleaners,to name a few, are all displayed at this convention.Perhaps the main theme of this event is artificial intelligence; machines which can more or less think for themselves. A small example of this would be Amazon’s Alexa—a voice-activated device that responds to your commands. It can complete a myriad of tasks from ordering diapers to playing music to contacting friends. Amazon and several other companies are taking steps into the undiscovered realm of artificial intelligence. Right now, the newest ideas include sensors that detect parking spaces and contact you when a space opens, face recognition sensors that automatically unlock your door when you arrive, and machines that text you when someone enters your house. All of this and more to come in 2018.

Works Cited

Bradley, Ryan. “Flying Cars, Bike Share, and Space Tourism: How You’ll Be Traveling in 2018.”

fortune.com, 20 Nov. 2017. Accessed 11 Jan. 2018.

Chen, Brian X. “The Big Tech Trends to Follow at CES 2018.” nytimes.com, 3 Jan. 2018,

www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/technology/personaltech ces-2018.htmlrref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FInternational%20Consumer%20Electronics%20Show%20(CES)&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlace

ment=2&pgtype=collection. Accessed 11 Jan. 2018.

Grush, Loren. “The biggest rocket launches and space missions we’re looking forward to in 2018.”

the verge.com, 9 Dec. 2017, www.theverge.com/2017/12/29/16821862/

2018-space-missions-rocket-launches-nasa-space-x-elon-musk. Accessed 11 Jan. 2018.

Perritano, John. “A Solution, Elon Musk Style.” science.howstuffworks.com, InfoSpace Holding LLC,

science.howstuffworks.com/transport/engines-equipment/hyperloop2.htm. Accessed 11 Jan. 2018.

Rodriguez, Julie M. “Terrafugia’s flying car will be a reality by 2018.” inhabit.com, 22 Feb. 2016,

inhabitat.com/terrafugias-flying-cars-to-be-a-reality-by-2018/. Accessed 11 Jan. 2018.

Waugh, Rob. “Flying Cars could be in the Air in 2018 As Volvo Parent Buys Street Plane Start-Up.”

metro.co.uk, 15 Nov. 2017, metro.co.uk/2017/11/15/

flying-cars-could-be-in-the-air-in-2018-as-volvo-parent-buys-street-plane-start-up-7080414/.

Accessed 11 Jan. 2018.

5 Comments

  1. Wow this is cool!

  2. Wow! I like the flying cars. You must need to have both a pilot’s license and a driver’s license to use one!

  3. This is pretty awesome!!!

  4. That is cool! I like the new Train.

  5. That is amazing!