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The future of transport: Your views

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(CNN) -- What is the future of transport? What role will cars play? What will we use to get around? Send us your thoughts and we'll print the best ones here.

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From: Joseph Donati, Sacramento, CA
Date: November 21, 2007
Your view:
I believe that in 20 years the cars we drive will not be that different. I think most of the cars will move away from traditional fuel sources, but for the most part, will remain unchanged. I think the biggest problem we face isn't changing the vehicle itself, but the infrastructure that it depends on. I believe in the next century we will see a change in the road systems which will allow for greater density of vehicles, reducing the amount of space needed for roads and highways. Americans want a vehicle that can go anywhere, off road, on a race track, or down the freeway, and I believe in the future we will have multiple cars for different uses. One car for cruising around town, probably a fully electric vehicle, and another for commuting and urban driving. For those who still crave a little dirt under their tires, I think there will always be traditional Jeeps, trucks, etc. We will always have a large need for construction equipment, and I don't see those vehicles changing, other than by converting to cleaner fuels. I also believe that before 2050, self-driving cars will be coming on the market. If a 'track' system, or some system of guidance were implemented on major thoroughfares and in urban areas, a commuter could simply pull onto the freeway and switch to autopilot. This would allow cars to flow in a much more organized fashion, allowing higher speeds, safer roads, and fewer emissions caused by road congestion. The other thing I see increasing is the use of air travel. If aircraft could be made easy enough to fly by the average Joe, with a licensing system equivalent to the DMV, I believe more people would travel by air. Whatever happens, I believe or streets will be safer to drive on, and our cars will be more fun to ride in.

From: Mark Lovett, Margate, NJ
Date: November 18, 2007
Your view:
The future of human transportation does not merely revolve around the important task of creating energy efficient vehicles or clean burning fuels, it also revolves around how we create and recreate civilization. The push towards reducing our energy dependency means we need to change the physical environment where we live and work. The future hopefully will mean we will live in smaller communities where we are closer to our workplaces and also have better access to the goods and services we need for our everyday life. With access of goods and services near our homes, our usage of energy will certainly lessen. The revival of " new urbanism" in the major cities is a good indication of the future where the majority of the world's population will live in self sufficient and more functional communities

From: Peter Keun, Purmerend, The Netherlands
Date: November 15, 2007
Your view:
RE; The future of transport I read with great interest all the comments from your readers. Unfortunately most focused their attention on the car. Granted we need to find cleaner and alternative sources of power but the real solution lies in better mass transit. I fortunately live in a country (The Netherlands), where one can easily live without owning a car. Much of this is due to the fact that the public transit infrastructure is so good. Having a small country with lots of bicycle paths and a mild climate also helps a great deal. Having said all that the Dutch government is making the same mistakes that all govenments do - throwing lots of money at road expansion at the expense of public transit. Hopefully they will wake up one day.

From: Jerry Moore, Richmond, VA
Date: November 12, 2007
Your view:
I cringe every time I see or hear a report about additional studies for developing and using optional fuels/biofuels, etc. ALL of those funds could be better spent in developing the infrastructure to support hydrogen stations to support the fuel cell vehicles of the future. Sooner or later, the person in charge has GOT TO make a commitment to reducing and or eliminating the internal combustion engine(ICE). It is the major contributor to our greenhouse gas problem and our major reason for being in the middle east(no matter what THEY say). Replace the ICE and bring our troops home and clean up the environment. Fixes almost everything, but lots of infastructure changes that the oil companies and the people they lobby will fight to the end.

From: John Spinella, Laguna Niguel, CA
Date: November 9, 2007
Your view:
The future of transport relies with the energy sources availible and the designs of the vehicles themselves. The energy sources I see are solar power, hydrogen, wind, and wave. The combustion fuel of the future is hydrogen. It burns cleanly and produces water in exchange. The only problem is hydrogen takes electricity to produce. A cool posiblity is creating a car that uses both hydrogen and electricity. The system would use the hydrogen in a loop and when it becomes water afterward the use of the electrical enging or battery could be used to seperate the oxygen from the hydrogen in a certain portion enough to run the car. Solar panels are likely to go through a renaissance in which they will end up every where even on cars.

From: steph diffut, orlando, FL
Date: November 9, 2007
Your view:
I would give my car up if i got another way to go get home from school and work that isnt the subway

From: Bhuvnaesh Khuller, Aurora, IL
Date: November 7, 2007
Your view:
Roads of the future would possibly be something like a microchip board, with cars programmed for destinations. In future, these cars may be running on electricity or may be with hydrogen (I'd be delighted to use a hydrogen fuel car myself) but in order to enhance safety, the roads will interact with these cars.

For something like airplanes, maybe capturing the energy of a photon to make these aircrafts move with the speed of light would be a norm.

The focus for all has to be energy efficient and planet friendly, otherwise newer technology will not be able to succeed.

I did read some of the messages posted and am concerned about the environment. I believe, it all comes down to politics. The people who have invested in the technologies of the past vs. people who want to invest in technologies of the future, who want to save this planet and their future (I am all set to work towards saving this planet).

From: Anand Arunakumar, Glen Allen, VA
Date: November 7, 2007
Your view:
Common sense is deeply forgotten. There are views about hybrids, alternate fuel sources etc., but look at the basics. When cars were designed in the past, it was to increase the speed, safety, comfort and efficiency. However, the current trend do not seem to stick to this attitude. People know that speed limits is a law, yet buy or encourage high power cars just to get through a few secs faster than a fellow neighbor. Even companies gets carried away by this and make powerful cars. Why not mention SUVs and pick up trucks and minivans. It is not necessary to go for one unless there is a lot to move, yet purely fashion and trends encourages this market. So what happens? Suddenly it is a surprise when Toyota, Honda and other smart car companies introduce alternate options. It has to be the way, if at all one thinks of constant improvization. It is an engineering challenge to make turbo power engines and make it perform. Keep aside that, why common man needs to own a pr! icey piece. If you really consider value for money and economics, most of the SUVs, pickups, minivans are not really needed. It is distraction. Answer this simple question. If one owns 6.1 lt engine, will that individual get a special preference in DMV/Speed/Insurance/Gas exemption? No. Infact it is the otherway. So, be wise when it comes to your needs. Remember, in the 1970s, there was a black out related to lack of oil. We could come back on it, but now, there is no scope for it. It is one's last chance.

Here is an idea: For every 10 minivans replace a public transport bus. For every 100 minivans (or alike), put a metro rapid transit and for a 100 airplanes, put a long distance train. After all, nothing is efficiently managed, so better change the system.

From: Patrick Currier, Blacksburg, VA
Date: November 7, 2007
Your view:
Part of the future of transportation was demonstrated this past weekend in Victorville, CA. The DARPA Urban Challenge demonstrated for the first time that autonomous (meaning completely computer controlled) ground transportation in an urban environment is possible. Eleven robots interacted safely with human controlled vehicles in a real city environment and showed that the future could no longer require humans to drive their own cars. I doubt we'll see fully robotic cars on the road by 2020, but human-assistance technologies will definitely start to change the way we drive and improve safety on the roads.

From: Stephen Smith, Golden, CO
Date: November 7, 2007
Your view:
I think we will all be driving electric cars. They will be lighter and electricy will be stored in a capacitor in the trunk. We will all have photo volatic cells on our roofs and a storage capacitor in our garage. Filling stations will have power cords to recharge our cars. We will be able to tell Opec where to go with just one finger.

From: Andrew Strout, Morrisville, NY
Date: November 6, 2007
Your view:
the future of the automotive industry is very scary, i work at a Ford Dealership back home and i go to school in NY for Ford. look at the electrical demands of the automobile. we are looking at going to an 48 volt car. smart cars and fuel cell cars are comming to the united states very soon. i am looking to open my own shop in a few years and i dont know how long i will be in the busness anymore? cars nowadays have too many issues to think about, one simple problem like a bad ground causes the Whole car to go hay wire. also if you have cars that drive themselves you are looking at even higher repair builds. though this is not a bad thing for me. anyway those are my thoughts.

From: Joseph Seamon, San Jose, CA
Date: November 6, 2007
Your view:
Cars will continue to be much smarter and more automated. Cars will be part of a big wifi traffic network. All stop signs/lights will also have wifi transponders which will signal a car to stop/go at the appropriate time. Cars will know where other cars are in the network and know where all the stop lights/signs/hazards are etc. It would save billions in accident/insurance costs so suprised more development is not being made in this area. In the short term all traffic lights should have a transponder and all cars required to have a module that talks to the transponder and prevents the car from running a red light (automatic braking).

From: Don Collett, Dawsonville, GA
Date: November 5, 2007
Your view:
With the rising fule prices, it won't be surprising to see an electric car with a gasoline assist make it to the market. Especially if a company like DEKA manages to finish research on its Stirling Cycle Engine (http://www.dekaresearch.com/coreTech.html). It would be an nice canidate for the gasoline assist. Combine Lithium Battery technology, vehicle wheels that are both electric motors for acceleration and generators for braking, stirling cycle engine as an assist which can burn just about any liquid fuel, and photovoltaic cell embedded in hood, roof, and trunk lids in a way they don't foul aerodynamics to charge the batteries while the car bakes in the parking lot and you might really have a solution. It's a pipe dream though. Someone is bound to spend alot of money to keep something like that off the market. Otherwise, it might put them out of business.

From: Jeremy Walker, Murfreesboro, TN
Date: November 5, 2007
Your view:
From what I have observed we already know what our future holds. When filming Minority Report there was a group that set out and questioned the best minds of today about what would be tomorrow. The industry guys came back with what eventuly became what was seen in the film. There were cars that could go from horizontal driving on its own to climbing 100's of stories on the side of the building. The designs are already starting to show, but what "The Man" can think up is most likely what "The Man" will make. My own dream would be to see a white bullet train on magnetic lines that shot through the country side while not disturbing nature except for when it rushed by. No more rush hour and you could work coast to coast a whole lot easier. I would be the first in line for that ticket.

From: Steve Straffin
Date: November 4, 2007
Your view:
Reading on line I saw a car being evolved to run on compresed air.....Wow...The article mentioned having to stop to fuel (compressed air)..Why not let the rotation of the tires refuel the vehicle....just a thought to pass along...Thanks Steve....

From: Richard Sexton, Virginia Beach, VA
Date: November 3, 2007
Your view:
Think back a few years, maybe almost a decade. There was this episode on the Sci-Fi channel of Outer Limits. Seems to fit perfect into this article. This lady was teleported from one planet to the moon and then on to the Earth. For some reason, the body that was on the moon did not get disassembled as it was supposed to. Now, there are two of the same lady. One on the Earth and one on the moon. How do you fix this?

I think that teleportation is a great idea and might even be a wonderful experience but what about the side effects? I would be two people but would I know that I have already been teleported? How would I feel to know that I'm now supposed to die and that my new clone is going to take over my life when he returns?

Think about it. . . Sounds cool but don't go too far into thinking about the side effects or you start asking moral questions.

From: Jen Keller, Washington, DC
Date: November 2, 2007
Your view:
We need to harness all forms of available energy, including nuclear. We need to rethink our public planning and allow people to live closer to their work space. We need to make it possible to quickly and less costly move from one residence to another. There is no reason to charge 6% of the value of homes for someone to move closer to their work.

From: Greg D, Palmyra, NJ
Date: November 1, 2007
Your view:
I constantly hear and read complaints about the limited horsepower and range of electric vehicles, which baffles me. For a long time now, the technology has existed. The Tesla roadster, for example, is 100% electric, can drive with accessories activated (A/C, radio, headlights) for hundreds of miles. It also has amazing 0-60mph performance for an EV, outperforming most higher end coupes. If this motor and battery technology could be applied to personal vehicle design, preferably by a major auto player such as Chevy, Toyota, etc, I'm sure the results would be impressive. The big debate preventing any major investment, is the charging method of the EVs. How do you charge EVs in an eco-friendly manner? If everyone in the US stopped buying gas and started using only electricity, unless the electricity is coming from a "clean" source such as wind, water, geothermal etc, it's just transferring our "dirty energy" problem from one form to another. The answer is simple. Solar power.

How? I'll give an abridged example. A Solar panel array could be installed on a parking garage roof in, let's say, Philadelphia. This would feed down to "charging levels" on the upper two floors of the parking garage. Thus not only providing the power for the charging stations, but most likely for the whole building as well. The more buildings and panels you have in this 'solar network', the larger your pool of available clean energy becomes. Entire companies could be created for the installation and conversion of local facilities and buildings, another for maintenance of the solar charging stations, another for free-standing battery stations (similar to gas stations wherein depleted batteries would be swapped for fully charged ones for a modest fee. The business model could be expanded infinitely, if anyone were serious about making it happen.

If the energy companies are so concerned with loosing money from oil and their dirty energy, they should be the ones to invest in the solar conversions. The can stamp "BP" (or insert any big-oil company name) all over the charging station handles and even put parking meter-style machines on the charging terminals. Even if we paid $5 a charge, wouldn't it be worth it for our planet's future?

The bottom line: The technology is here, now. Someone with the investment ability and a little creative vision, simply needs to put all of the puzzle pieces together.

From: Martin Guzman, Vacaville, CA
Date: October 31, 2007
Your view:
RE: the airplane of the future article, has the thought that the supersonic planes would be of more use for air-freight instead of small private aircraft

From: Stan Anderson
Date: October 31, 2007
Your view:
Imagine dual fuel diesel engines. They are reality now. Hydrogen or natural gas injected diesel engines that can burn any of the diesel fuels including bio. I want a Ford Fusion with a "fusion" dual fuel diesel engine. If Ford can't or won't do it, can somebody else?

From: Jim Ketcham, Malibu, CA
Date: October 29, 2007
Your view:
Because of increasing costs in time and money, people will grudgingly reduce their use of cars. The most expedient option is to buy a more fuel efficient car next time. For the future, the best alternative is to live closer to work.

From: David Kline, Santa Clara, CA
Date: October 26, 2007
Your view:
It's a tough question, complicated by the larger question in which it's embedded: Must we give up our way of life? The fabric of life in many differing socities is woven with roads, mobility, ease of transport.

Petrol fueled engines have made all of this possible, but they're also partly responsible for pollutants that foul the air we breathe and now, we learn, for global warming. The larger question includes other factors such as deforestation, coal fired energy plants, oil refineries and other manufacturing, population growth and consumer driven economies.

Some changes must be made in how we live. We can make them or nature will. Most people, even those who call global warming a hoax, recognize this. The real question behind various postures taken is: Whose life must change, and how? Biofuels are not a realistic alternative. They are a Shell game, an Exxon herring.

Even if they achieve carbon neutrality, they do not result in a reduction of CO2, and they take land out of crop production now increasingly needed as population continues to grow. Hydrogen fuel is more realistic, both for cars and for generation of energy. (Where is the Manhatten Project for hydrogen fusion?) Electric cars already exist and can effectively compete with petrol fueled cars in every way, given that we design better batteries and solar cells. (Where is the technomagic when we need it?)

From: Severiano Gomez, Taipei, China
Date: October 25, 2007
Your view:
I noticed that all the talk is about cars. Cars aren't the problem as much as the design of our cities. I went from living in a subruban enviornment in Tampa, FL to a very urban enviornment in Taipei. Only now have i begun to realize that our lives in the suburbs are built for corporate profitability and not convience, protecting the enviornment, and exercise. Most americans are forced into their cars for even the smallest errand. Has anyone ever thought how in-effiecent it is to take a car to get some milk and eggs. Do we really need 300 horsepower to get simple grocery shopping done?

Here in Taipei, i never use a car, i use the extensive subway and bus system. My commute time here is much less than in America even by relying only on public transportation. I think in the future we are going to need to redesign our cities more than we need to redesign or cars. Unfortunatly, China, which is traditionally very urban place, is making the same mistakes that the US made in the 50's and 60's and is pushing their people into a car based culture.

From: M. Posselius, Beppu, Japan
Date: October 25, 2007
Your view:
Frankly speaking I feel that it is all a matter of big business. I think the car companies are tied to the oil companies, either directly or indirectly. And in this group is the governments connected to them all. I feel that much better technology already exists. A technology that would not be using fossil fuel at all.But it is all about making money! Do I think we can do with out cars ...no! I think there will be personal transportation devices, but not using harmful fuels. I think that people who use alternate fuels, hybrid cars, or other ideas should get road tax breaks or some kind of break from their governments. But as I said before. the oil industries, car industries, and governments are all connected. If they weren't, the cars would be much more efficient, cleaner, and not on fossil fuels. Most importantly, the cars that are not using harmful fuels would be much more affordable to everyone. Come on guys! Lets get serious about this problem!

From: Stanley La O, Quezon City, Phillipines
Date: October 24, 2007
Your view:
I think that with the rise of oil prices, people should start riding bicycles as their primary mode of transportation if their office is within 5 - 8 kilometers away. Governments should create bicycle lanes to keep riders safe, and companies should install showers in their toilets.

From: Greg Settle, Bend, OR
Date: October 24, 2007
Your view:
Politicians must support higher fuel economy and alternative fuel vehicles, and force changes upon the automobile industry. Leaders must lead.

Consumers who are financially capable, need to speak via their purchasing decisions whenever possible - Toyota Prius Hybrid is an example of an emerging alternative fuel vehicle market driven by consumers.

Unfortunately it is not practical in rural communities to travel distances without a vehicle. Similarly, most people who travel regionally for recreation require a vehicle.

Environmentally sound alternative transportation combined with alternative fuel vehicles sounds like a great start.

From: Tom Turner, Austin, TX
Date: October 24, 2007
Your view:
I hope it is not too late. The 3rd wrld countries are just now catching up to "being like us (U.S.)" & now we're asking them to stop. I use public transport. I'm reminded of the aliens in "Independece Day" that consume all the natural resources of a planet, then move on to another..but we have nowhere else to go. We are lemmings unto ourselves.

From: Don Green, Macomb, MI
Date: October 24, 2007
Your view:
I think the time is right for the walrus class dirigible . They may not make good transport for those in a rush but would make excelent cruise ships. They could take off from anywhere and provide tours never before possible. Imagine going thru parts of the Ggrand Canyon , or circling New York, make a fall color tour or view the everglades...all from the comfort of your own cabin


From: Hans Koch, Bersee, France
Date:October 24, 2007
Your view:
Frankly I'm very sceptical if it comes to the link CO2 and global warming. The IPCC consists of scientists assigned by national governments whose interest it seems to be to keep up the global warming hype in order to raise taxes. Al Gore seems only to be concerned about his image given his private excessive energy consumption. The entire climate movement (governments, scientist, journalists, etc) has become a multi billion dollar business and only therefore it is in its own interest it is being heard - and hence receives more funding. CO2 contribution from traffic is insignificant compared to what nature itself produces, the fact that global warming comes BEFORE CO2 increase is never really mentioned and what the effects are of the earth changing its position to the sun or increased solar activitiy has never really been investigated deeply-because it is something we cannot influence and cannot tax. Of course we should conserve energy and look for alternatives but! blaming solely traffic, make us pay and scare us with doom scenarios is too easy.

From: Henry Avellar, Joao Pessoa, Brazil
Date: October 24, 2007
Your view:
The automobile has been a blessing and a curse. Unfortunately at this time the gasoline automobile is a plague upon the earth. We already have the science and the technology to change gasoline vehicles into non-polluting means of transportation; however, we lack the will and the national leadership to apply this technology to help resolve our environmental crises. The immediate solution is to provide more mass transportation via natural gas and electric buses and light rail. The gasoline automobile as we know it is a dinosaur and as our earth becomes more and more blighted, it will eventually be banned from our streets and highways. We must realize that we no longer have the license to run our gasoline automobiles with no thought to the environment. The federal tax on gasoline should be increased to a level that will provide for "clean" mass transportation and the development of pollution-free passenger vehicles, even if this increased tax causes many people t! o 'give up their cars' and use mass transportation. How much time do we have left to take action? Very little, I\X*!m afraid.

From: Erik Kioko, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Date: October 19, 2007
Your view:
Public Transport! I take a bus to and from work, and whereever I need to go. It seats about 24 passengers. That means there are 24 less cars on the road. Besides, its cheaper...

From: Ruen Ellis, New York, NY
Date: October 19, 2007
Your view:
We had the opportunity to adopt and implement the use of electric cars, GE's EV-1 was but one example and at that time (mid 90s) other car manufacturers introduced electronic vehicles already. The federal government, GE, oil companies collectively, directly and indirectly shut the program down.

Our current environmental situation can easily be put to our lack of freedom of choice and apathy when this event took place - we only have ourselves, and perhaps our government and its bipartisan relationship with big oil to blame.

While the technology exists still....why don't we start introducing the electrical vehicles again....before the oil executives completely mess up our planet?

From: Nava Satiyah, Penang, Malaysia
Date: October 19, 2007
Your view:
Instead of no cars available, there would be a polution free cars in the future. All the science fictions would become reality.

From: Randy Shalagan, Red Deer, Canada
Date: October 18, 2007
Your view:
The automobile will continue to be used in the future. We must work towards reducing the use of cars and making those cars more environmentally friendly, now, not tomorrow. There will be a cost but the cost of retooling our transportation networks and sytems will be far less then the environmental cost if we do not never mind the human suffering that will occur. Public tranpsortation will be a key to our success. It must be affordable and efficient. Cars must be fuel efficient and use environmentally friendly energy systems. We have the technology at hand. We merely need to have the will to act upon that which we know is fundamentally right. This is for us, our children and all of the future generations yet to be born.

From: Barry Schader, Phoneix, AZ
Date: October 15, 2007
Your view:
For cities in the developed world, we should be looking at Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). Like the more familiar "mass transit", PRT requires a big investment in infrastructure -- tracks, stations, systems, and vehicles. But in PRT, the vehicles are small -- holding one or a few passengers and no driver -- they are fully automated. You walk into a station, get in a vehicle, and tell it where you want to go. It goes there -- to the nearest station. The system is very efficient because a computer manages the flow of vehicles -- they 'platoon' (essentially form small trains) on busy tracks. This is very convenient for the rider - you go from start to destination at fairly high speed, without stopping or transferring. It is very safe and energy-efficient, because the vehicles are designed to run 'full' (or nearly full), never cross paths, and move at a fairly steady speed. With the ever-rising cost of oil, perhaps PRT will become a cost-competitive.

From: Carter Elliott, Los Angeles, CA
Date: October 14, 2007
Your view:
All-electric vehicles make the most sense in the long run. It isn't bad news, motors last longer and need less maintenance than engines and are more energy-efficient.

The main drawback to motors is that they have less power-to-weight ratio, so to get higher performance, you need to supplement the power at green lights. Luckily, that isn't a difficult problem. The secret to getting V-8 performance with an electric motor is to add a flywheel to the system. Instead of regenerative-braking generating electricity to recharge the battery, what you want is to take the car's kinetic energy and store it as flywheel energy that can be used for accelerating the vehicle back up to cruising speed when the light turns green.

Flywheels, even relatively small ones, can produce very high horsepower. A twenty-pound flywheel could easily store the energy needed to accelerate a car from zero to 45mph in a few seconds, comparable to a V-8's performance. You'd get hybrid economy with high-performance, and zero emissions. And it doesn't require any "new science" to implement, just straightforward mechanical engineering.

From: Steve Erlsten, Orlando, FL
Date: October 12, 2007
Your view:
The solution is simple and inexpensive. We must electrify our transit. We need to move freight by electric locomotives, and we need to move people in electric vehicles. As we make that switch, all increases in electrical demand must be met with renewable wind and solar energy. The federal government must lead through example and mandate that 95% of all new postal and congressional vehicles purchased after 2010 must be battery electric vehicles.

From: Ryan Todd, Idar-Oberstein, Germany
Date: October 12, 2007
Your view:
This article brings up a few interesting philosopical debates. The most interesting I believe is the idea of perception, or identity. Most of us have often wondered: "Why is it that of all the sentient beings to ever exist 'I' am 'this one'?" Most followers of religion will tell you that 'I' exists because of the existence of a soul. The author cites a physicist who says that a teleported human would not be a quantum copy of the original self, therefore we must then ask ourselves if after transportation is the sense of a 'self' lost or does it remain intact? The sense of a 'self' is constructed by memory and memory is stored in our brains by chemicals and connections between nuerons. Certainly an imperfect quantum copy of one's 'selft' would produce 'false' memories and corrupt or forget other 'true' memories all together.

From: Giles Wilderman, Calgary, AB, Canada
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view: How about .. Another use of teleport? A person is suffering with cancer. Firstly we shield or insulate the cancer .. then teleport the rest of he body to the next room. Whole and healthy.

From: Jack Seltzer, Bethlehem, PA
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view: If teleportation at light speed did come about there would be some powerful possibilities. For one, a person could be sent through enormous distances over very long periods of time (as measured on earth) and because of time dilation (Einstein) the person would not age. So for example, it the person had some incurable disease, he/she could be teleported around the earth and returned when a cure was available. Of course if it took a very long time, everyone he/she knew before leaving would be long gone. But, you can't have it all. Also, for space colonization or exploring space, adventurers could go forth traveling tremendous distances over many years and not age. "Hey, what are you doing this weekend? How about a trip to Venus? It's only about 6 minutes away.

From: Jay Johnson, Las Vegas, NV
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view: If a quantum computer can contain an infinite amount of information, and move that information around at the speed of light, then anything is possible. Let's see, are my bags packed for Taihiti, Mars or another Galaxy?

From: Rosie Deo, Millbrae, CA
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view: If this works it will save thousands of lives by teleporting troops for peacekeeping in the Middle East.

From: Karen Euler, Deer Park, NY
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view: I see trouble ahead with the ability to 'fax' a person in the far future. If the person 'faxed' arrives a fair approximation of the original but not perfect one hopes that the approximation is not 'faxed' after that. You would soon get far from the original back home. As for sending information that is great but what was not clear is whether the original information gets destroyed like this article says the atoms and photons do now. If so, a lot of backup would be required. This is all great and I love the fact that they said it all might be possible in the future where a while ago it was deemed impossible. And the beat goes on.

From: Chris Baker, Dayton, OH
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view: Never for a second believe that anything within the realm of what is physically possible will not eventually be done by human-kind. Teleportation and Faster-Than-Light Travel will eventually be accomplished, and probably sooner than we all give ourselves credit for. We will achieve it as long as we get through this cosmic infancy in which we find ourselves wrapped. Remember, space-flight and super-sonic travel were once deemed impossible...now they are second-nature.

From: David Roberts, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view: Teleportation is about moving an object, not creating a duplicate in another location. In stargate technology, people are moved by creating a wormhole, a short circuit path through space. Still theoretical in the Physics world of today, no experiments have been performed to determine the feasibility of this approach.

From: Ken Gettys, Salem, OR
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view: In the near future, electric powered autos (only) will be able to attach themselves to the center divider of major highways! This Auto Mover System (AMS) will, upon sensing the auto is nearing the preprogrammed highway exit, detach the car from the center divider and propel it onto an exit ramp.

Front, Rear, and Side Radar (inexpensive and available now) will be used for flow control and breaking. Each AMS lane will be bordered by K-Walls and have a vented Plexiglas cover.

Power for the auto while attached to AMS will come from an electromagnetic strip built into the center divider. This AMS will also recharge the battery used to power the auto when it is not attached to the center divider.

Vehicle occupants will be able to order, via the auto's Internet connected computer, drinks, meals, snacks, and DVD's and have them delivered while in route! Trash and human waste (contained in each seats hidden port-a-potty) will be removed automatically.

From: Al Higgins, Winter Haven, FL
Date: October 11, 2007

Your view: Our sad obsession with money had stunted our evolution. We have the resources, techonolgy, and people to have been able to have ships capable of taveling about atleast the solar system. Yet, we can't "afford" it, not we can't do it - we can't "afford" it. That's stupid. We could be mining asteroids instead of the earth, but we can't "afford" it. So, will we be able to transport people like they do in Star Trek within my lifetime? Probably not because we can't "afford" it.

From: Mark T, Dallas, TX
Date: October 11, 2007

Your view: My belief is that human teleportation will never become a viable means of transport. First, the physics involved and accuracy required to perform the feat are way beyond our grasp. Moreover, the military (likely early adopters) would want to keep the capability for themselves.

If you remove humans from the equation, however, I do see some practical applications with respect to objects. The article states that the current method essentially creates copies of the original. Properly refined, such technology could be used to send supplies to disaster areas, create water (or food) for consumption, and even minimize severe weather; imagine "beaming" a layer of disruptive air air into a developing tornado, or ice into a tropical storm...

Again, the military applications are frightening, but that is a persitent issue with a technological society.

From: Dean Nunya, Tulsa OK
Date: October 11, 2007

Your view: I believe that the secret to efficient mobilities lies in new composites and alloys. With better transmissions, more capable of relaying power from the engine, we will be able to generate more torque with less wasted energy. New composite materials combined with fresh alloys will change some of the functioning aspects of our automobiles, making them consume less energy and increasing their range dramatically. I picture the engine of the future functioning more like a scramjet, using pulsed energy rather than constant, allowing momentum to build and help maintain forward motion. We might some day have advanced polymers replacing the current rubber in our tires. Sensors in the automobile (ie. temperature, road conditions, speed, etc.) will relay to the computer telling the tires to become soft or hard therby increasing performance and/or gas mileage.

Every generation has its own version of the superstition "The world will end in my time".

Just 100 years ago many of us were riding in horse-drawn wagons saying to ourselves "this is it, this is as far as we go with technology". It is important that we fight through that way of thinking and continue to solve these puzzles at a rapid pace, or we will never achieve the utopia we as a people are trying to attain through. A utopia that can only be achieved through progress and the casting aside of old predjudices.

From: S McNamara, Havertown, PA
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view
: Regarding the teleportation question:

According to what I understand, the teleportation process would work by essentially 'scanning' the original object, transferring its characteristics to some remote location, and reassembling an 'approximate' copy. In this process the original object is destroyed.

For an inanimate object, this seems fine, you put one orange on a table, and another is created in its likeness 5000 miles away. Its still an orange -- the existence (or lack thereof) of the original is inconsequential.

However, when you consider this in terms of a living object, specifically a human, the interpretation of the concepts change. When speaking of inanimate objects, we're comfortable saying that the original object is destroyed and recreated without feeling too much discomfort. But, translating that into the language of life, we have to say "The original object is killed and an approximate duplicate is recreated elsewhere".

This to me is a little unsettling. If a human were to step into a teleporter, they, themselves, would never get where they're going. They would die, and something 'like' them would end up at their intended destination.

Assume you're going to visit your mother in Europe. You would never see your mother, you would be dead. A copy of you would see your mother. "You" as you are right now, would have no memory or recollection of anything that happens after you step into the teleporter since you wouldn't exist anymore. So, you have to ask yourself, would the trip that you're really 'dying' to go on really be worth dying for?

This raises all sorts of questions on a philosophical/ethical level regarding the nature of life -- and this isn't even beginning to touch on religious issues that would be surely be raised.

From: Daniel French, Holland, MI
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view
: In 2020, I believe we'll see more electric-type cars, a greater dependence and expansion of the Internet, online university courses will equal 50% of all acadmic endeavor.

From: Chukwuemeka Mbaneme, Lagos, Nigeria
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view:
For most of us in the developing world I do not see much difference in the mode of travel by 2020, at best in the developed economies exotic modes of travel would be limited to experimental activity in selected local areas.

However, it is imperative that mankind evolves it's technologies to align with mother natures dictates which would ultimately enhance the quality of life. We must learn to mimick nature in such a way that cars, trains, planes e.t.c should be able to absorved the energy required from the environment in such a way that any by-product of it's internal mechanical metabolism is harmless and readily reabsorbed in nature.

However, with respect to teleportation as depicted in one of my favourite sci-fi movie "Star-Trek", it is my personal opinion that for mankind it would remain an impossibility because of the inherent nature of the material world where the rate of mobility is extremely sluggish and a gulf exist between will and deed unlike in higher realms.

From: Les Kettle, Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view:

Delusion and dreams, Delusion and dreams,
I hate reality - it's not what it seems
And truth can only add more confusion-
I think I'll stick with dreams and delusion!

From: Stan Strickland, Ajax, ON, Canada
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view:
You go first.

From: David Grigolla, Azusa, CA
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view:
Would it actually be a transfer of consciousness or merely a copy with destruction of the original? Then again, our concerns may may be akin to those primitives who believed their souls would be stolen by a camera...

From: Tim Stokes, columbus, OH
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view:
Does anyone believe in God anymore? Why do people think they can answer all the questions in the universe themselves? Whrere has faith gone? There will be a day when scientists will came face to face with God almighty himself and fall to his feet. God will explain everything to us in due time. On his time frame not ours.

From: Danish Noneya, Lewisville, TX
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view:
hmmm... considering I can't count on a consistently reliable cell phone signal NOW, I'll probably pass on at least the first few generations of teleporters thank you very much.

From: John Bailo, Kent, WA
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view:
What if the technology succeeds and American Airlines becomes American Spin Lines, but then a "transporter accident" happens like in the old Star Trek where someone is transported and he's split into two dudes: one all wimpy and indecisive and the other a super aggressive alpha male? Could they sue? Would the wimpy half ever decide? Or would the super aggressive half just punch everyone and get thrown in jail?

From: Peter Rogers, Springfield, NJ
Date: October 11, 2007
Your view:
Rather than thinking in terms of only a transportation device, what about the possibility of the "transporter" being used as a medical device? A person has a disease that has unique genetic markers, so transport them and with a computer prohram designed like an electronic filter, remove certain undesireable things like the disease. If your rebuilding a person from "new" molecules, we could even create a new form of "futuristic" plastic surgery. While it has a lot of moral implications, not to mention the possibility of adding things that aren't wanted, the positives could easily out weigh the negative. Imagine being 90 years old and having your mind transferred to a newer (or older) version of yourself.

From: Mike S, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Date: October 10, 2007
Your view:
How about an even better idea? We talk about global warming and improving vehicle efficiency why don't we just eliminate the problem? The vehicle! The idea that everyone has to drive to an office building to work is outdated. Through Internet technology a lot of office type functions could be done from home. Therefore, no car would be necessary

Businesses would save millions not having to pay for real estate and would therefore be able to hire more employees. Families would be able to stay closer together. parents may not need to send older children to daycare.

A lot of problems would be fixed. Same with school. Instead of sendign children to a building why not use internet etchnologies. Sure you can argue that it isolates people. That doesn't mean that people can't go outside and meet others though

From: Sandra Garrett, Grand Island, NY
Date: October 9, 2007
Your view:
It is long past time that we start weaning our nation off of fossil fuel. We have the ability to create automobiles that run on electricity or solar power, heat our homes with solar and wind power, electricity can also be generated with water and wind power. This would greatly reduce the harmful emissions that is causing global warming. By tackling the issues of global warming we can also make our nation more secure and less dependant on fossil fuels which would lessen the hold other countries have on our economy by decreasing our need for their oil and gas. Two birds with one stone. The hardest thing about this is convincing the big oil companies of this and get them pointed in the direction that we need to take to preserve our planet and our national security.

From: Ladd Doane, Omaha, NE
Date: October 9, 2007
Your view:
Beyond Oil, the View from Hubbert's Peak, by Kenneth S. Deffeyes, looks at an often cited study by a renowned geophysicist, M. King Hubbert. In 1956 Hubbert predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in 1970. When that prediction was proved accurate, people began paying attention to Hubbert's studies. In 1969 Hubbert predicted that world oil production would peak in 2000.

In his book, Deffeyes suggests that the peak is occurring now (he says official USGS studies have placed the peak in 2036). The oil companies aren't saying much one way or the other. But for circumstantial evidence, Deffeyes points out that no new oil refineries have been built since 1970 and giant oil tankers are being retired without replacement. Perhaps the oil companies know more than they are letting on; they won't invest in refineries and ships they won't need.

These suggestions are quickly answered with accusations that the environmental restrictions of the EPA's have unnecessarily limited the construction of new refineries. Those restrictions are being relaxed now and construction of new refineries is being considered. The current refining and deliver system for gas is stretched so thin that unexpected catastrophes, such as Hurricane Katrina, can result in skyrocketing prices and lines of cars at gas stations.

Hubbert's prediction is often challenged and refuted. The general public apparently feels that the world is so vast there must be more oil somewhere. The point is that oil is a finite resource that will run out some time. If we are prepared for the change to another form of energy, that transition will be smooth. If we are unprepared it is likely that what has been described as "resource wars" will break out as countries fight for the final oil fields to prolong the inevitable.

Bringing this discussion down to a practical and personal level, it seems that Americans need to make several important realizations:

1. Oil is not an infinite resource.

2. Remaining supplies of oil should be used wisely.

3. Alternative sources of energy need to be brought on line soon.

Think of these issues the next time you fill up your tank or the next time you buy a car.

From: Steven Black, Springfield, IL
Date: October 9, 2007
Your view:
Perhaps if all cars got on average 40 miles per gallon and the American public embraced mass transit like many Europeans and the Japanese have, we could fully be off foreign oil, only using domestic supply. This would sharply cut our usage of fossil fuels and the amount of pollution we emit, hitting two birds with one stone. Redefining the way we live may also be necessary, with better urban planning we can make communities that are both comfortable with plenty of green space but also walkable and bicycle-friendly, moving us back to a time when people didn't have cars and we required to walk to the grocery store or walk to school. This would save so much energy in and of itself. It would also help solve our childhood obescity problem in this country. Why are our children overweight? Because we are driving them everywhere.

From: Ernie Garcia, Fresno, CA
Date: October 6, 2007
Your view:
I am doing my part to help the environment. I drive a Toyota Prius. I used to have a toyota tacoma. I save about $200 in gas as well!.

We need to start getting off of our big cars. We need to see the big picture. The good times are gone. Unless you drive a prius of course

From: Brian Mitchell
Date: October 5, 2007
Your view:
I like the concepts in movies like "I-Robot" where cars drive themselves - hopefully using electricity or some energy we aren't using now. We would probably need to start with computer chips in our cars that monitor the road and other cars nearby but let us drive when necessary - the fuel wouldn't be tied to this technology. But then we would have to worry about car hackers - look for the car blowing past everyone - it's probably me.

From: Nick Allen, Luther, OK
Date: October 4, 2007
Your view:
While I can't decry the natural human drive to innovate, most of the ideas are falling short and fail to recognize the real problem. Six-plus billion people cannot be supported by the Earth's renewable resources. Once our supplies of accumulated energy are exhausted, people are simply going to have to learn to live a more reasonable lifestyle. That means eating food that can be grown locally, traveling less, living in smaller houses and getting rid of the automobile. I sincerely doubt that Technological Man will survive the next century, although Man almost certainly will. It is Nature's way that humans live simply and not far past 50. Cold Fusion, Brain Wave Power and Orange Peel Diesel will not save this mess, any more than denial will.

From: Alex Cohen, Westport, CT
Date: October 3, 2007
Your view:
One of the best ways we could combat global warming is through the use of renewable sources, as well as using energies that we can manipulate to work for our society. For example, it would be somewhat easy to use magnets for our cars. If you were to place two magnets, obviously they would have to be very strong, in the front and rear of an automobile, you could use a leveraging system to pull your car. The roads would need to have magnetic strips on them, but this is just a small option. If we could get rid of some of the waste, a.k.a. gasoline, we could easily save the world.

From: Richard Rieber, Pasadena, CA
Date: October 2, 2007
Your view:
I believe the next 20-30 years will see a diversification in energy sources. Biodiesel and ethanol blends (notably GM cars) are making headway in the automotive fuel market. Other energy sources for vehicles are also making technological breakthroughs, such as fuel cells and batteries with larger capacities and smaller masses for electric cars. In 20-30 years, the nation's gas stations will (or should) have a pump for unleaded, biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen (hopefully), and a plug for the electric car. The prime reason these alternative fuels have not been implemented is the limitations in finding fuel. Similar to the situation in the early part of the 1900's where gas stations were few and far between until the government subsidized the development of gas stations. The oil companies, with large pocket books and numerous analysts should be able to see the downfall of the petroleum empire and begin to make efforts to keep hold of the transportation fuel market. For example, an oil company could add to the current refinery and transportation system a method for refining waste cooking oil into biodiesel and offer that for sale at the pump in addition to traditional diesel fuel. Auto makers also need to get on the bandwagon and allow warranties to cover biodiesel blends. The University of Colorado in Boulder has made excellent headway in the alternative fuel market. A team of freshmen engineering students built a reactor to convert the cooking oil from the dining halls into biodiesel which all of the on-campus buses are now using successfully with no problems thus far. In 20-30 years, the consumer should have the ability to chose a car, then choose the type of fuel they want it to run on (similar to the automatic/manual transmission or diesel/unleaded debate) and be able to find that fuel nation wide. Large profits can be made in this market; the oil companies just need to open their eyes.

From: GEORGE WU, AIA, WHITE PLAINS, NY
Date: September 29, 2007
Your view:
Why do need car to begin with? To get around. But if the public transportation is available, then we do not need to spend $ to keep a car. If we live near public transportation, say, we live above them,instead living in the suburb,we do not need the car as much. Therefore solve the problem from the root. Find a solution building housing over highways,cover up the noise and fume and ventilate it somewhere else.

From: Phil Kim, Fairfax, VA
Date: September 29, 2007
Your view:
No magic pills here. We will shift most of auto to hybrid and batteries operated as battery technology will be big in next decade. Many big and small solar power will come online, wind power not much so due to environmental impact and 'tupid regulation.(Forest Service will regulate Wind Farms, Wanted: Ranger with Electrical Eng. degree pays $32K a year.) Geo thermal will be spotty, Nuclear? Everyone talks about it but don't want to touch it, Fusion power will struggle. But, with all new advance tech in renewable energy coming online oil will drop off to $50 level and any expensive energy generation will wane off like it did back in 80's. And we will continue to burn oil and fossil fuel, probably cleaner than now, and then in yr 2038 we will cry more to get this cycle all over. Except this time it will be more serious, but I may not be here to hear that cry...

From: James Smith, João Pessoa, Brazil
Date: September 28, 2007
Your view:
This guy is a dreamer. People in places like the USA, Europe and South America will never accept this stupid, stupid Car on a Stick. He should step out of his fantasy and take a look at the real word.

From: mutia rahardjani, jakarta, Indonesia
Date: September 28, 2007
Your view:
I think 2020 will be unremotely different than today. I'm certain that technology will take a giant leap ahead though. No, I don't think we can spend the weekend on the moon yet. Forget Star Trek-y way of getting places. And so much for the flying car or hoverboard as the mean of transportation. But if we keep today's pace of destruction, I see for certain 2020 will have more flood, weather chaos, and extinction. But I won't keep my pesimistic hat on, I hope by 2020, war and conflicts are over, we've found a way to take care of environmental destruction, and peace-loving generation will emerge. Sounds "miss-universe-y" I know, but hey, it's honest. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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