5 ways transportation will radically change by 2026

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Google driverless car AP Google is one of many companies trying to propel transportation into the future.

Right now, the way we get around can seem fairly lackluster.

That's mostly because we've become accustomed to emerging forms of transportation, like high-speed rails and airplanes, that were considered revolutionary not too long ago.

But we're entering an era of new forms of transportation that will make the way we get around more efficient, faster, and simply cooler.

We spoke to Peter Diamandis, a board member of Hyperloop One, on what we can expect in just 10 years. Here's what he had to say:

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The Hyperloop will make transportation between cities easy and fast and could be operating worldwide by 2026.

The Hyperloop will make transportation between cities easy and fast and could be operating worldwide by 2026.

Ok, it's not exactly shocking that a board member of Hyperloop One would advocate for the Hyperloop. But as someone who has never experienced an Amtrak train that didn't arrive late, it's exciting to considering the prospect of a new, high-speed system in the near future.

Hyperloop One is one of two US start-ups, the other being Hyperloop Transportation Technologies whose concept is depicted above, working to make the futuristic, high-speed pod system a reality.

"We’ve talked about domestically in the US, Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Los Angeles to San Francisco," Diamandis said of starting locations for Hyperloop One. "We’ve talked about Dubai, about Abu Dhabi to Dubai. Any place where you can cut back the travel time by a factor of 8 is incredible."

Diamandis has said the Hyperloop could be a reality in the United Arab Emirates by 2020. The start-up expects it to be worldwide by 2026.

Flying cars could be a reality in just 5 years.

Flying cars could be a reality in just 5 years.

When I asked Diamandis whether he thought we could ever see flying cars in our lifetime, his reply was nothing short of an enthusiastic yes.

"Oh god, yes. Oh for sure," he said. "I think we'll see a lot of demos happening in the next two or three years. And I think we'll see within 5 years, we’ll start to see them in specific places."

Whether it's flying cars or personal transport drones, Diamandis said the technology will change how people commute. People will be able to fly to designated ports or landing pads in cities, and then taking a driverless car to their final location.

Chinese drone company EHang showed off its electric, autonomous drone designed to transport a single passenger at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Larry Page, a co-founder of Google who is now CEO of its parent company, has actually invested more than $100 million to develop flying cars.

Fully driverless cars will be on the road in 5 years.

Fully driverless cars will be on the road in 5 years.

"Every major car company in the world is working on autonomous vehicles of one level or another," Diamandis noted. "I think that we will see fully autonomous vehicles on the road well within five years, maybe even sooner."

Diamandis said he believes Tesla is "blowing by everybody" in the driverless car arms race. But he also said he believes Google's software will power a lot of driverless cars. He added that he's also interested in seeing what Uber and Apple are working on.

The model of "every car in a garage" will die down and be replaced by a fleet-based service.

The model of "every car in a garage" will die down and be replaced by a fleet-based service.

"I think we’ll head very quickly to a car as a service," he said. "And that changes everything, it changes where you live and work, it changes a lot of things we take for granted right now, like having a parking lot or parking garage goes away."

Having a car as a service will be cheaper than owning an actual car, Diamandis said. It will also allow people to summon cars that best accommodate what they need at a given time, like ordering a driverless car with a bed at night, but one with a conference table on the way to work.

A lot of companies are working on the kind of model Diamandis is describing. General Motors will launch its first driverless car on Lyft, and Faraday Future wants to launch a subscription-based service. Tesla is also planning on creating a shared, fleet service for its driverless cars.

Space tourism will become a reality thanks to the efforts of SpaceX and Blue Origin.

Space tourism will become a reality thanks to the efforts of SpaceX and Blue Origin.

The ability to reuse rockets will allow the cost of space travel to come down, which is why Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX efforts will eventually lead to space tourism, Diamandis said.

Musk is actually planning on landing humans on Mars within nine years.

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