Travel is continuously evolving, with new developments either conceptualized or in progress seemingly every day. From hyper-fast transportation between cities and commercialized space travel to innovative domed metropolises, here are five interesting developments set to revolutionize travel.
1. Hyperloop One — Dubai-Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Hyperloop One is at the forefront of innovative transportation. With a test track recently opened near Las Vegas, Nevada and construction on a system in the United Arab Emirates underway, the company plans to have three Hyperloops in operation by 2021. The first Hyperloop is set to reduce travel time between Dubai and Abu Dhabi from two hours to approximately 12 minutes. Using a mobile application, passengers will be able to reserve Hyperloop transportation ahead of time. They will enter gates to board individual “pods,” similar to airline compartments and connected in groups of four, for their 700-mph journey. When the system opens, riding it is a must.
2. Virgin Galactic — Spaceport America, New Mexico Virgin Galactic plans to make space travel a reality for tourists around the globe. Aspiring astronauts will arrive at Spaceport America, the company’s high-tech home base in New Mexico, where they will participate in pre-flight briefings and suit up in custom-fitted gear before boarding for launch. Passengers aboard Virgin Galactic spacecraft will feel the sensation of weightlessness while admiring stunning panoramas of the Earth, Moon and surrounding cosmos. Although the project has been delayed several times, Virgin Galactic’s inaugural liftoff is scheduled for 2018.
3. Boring Company — Los Angeles, California
Despite its name, there is nothing dull or ordinary about the Boring Company, Elon Musk’s startup venture to create a network of underground tunnels in Los Angeles. Propelled underground by an electric skate, cars, trucks and buses will be able to traverse the tunnels at speeds approaching 130 mph, drastically reducing travel time between points in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. In addition to as many as thirty levels for motor vehicles, the system is slated to accommodate Hyperloop trains, facilitating rapid transportation throughout southern California.
4. Mall of the World — Dubai, United Arab Emirates
With regards to tourist attractions, Dubai’s Mall of the World could easily be one of the most innovative. Scheduled to open in 2020, this indoor metropolis is set to be the first of its kind worldwide, with 7 kilometers (approximately 4.35 miles) of streets lined with a plethora of shopping, dining and entertainment options. In addition, this grandiose development will include a vibrant cultural district inspired by London and Barcelona, thousands of hotel rooms and a functional transit system within its retractable roof. Once this unique city is open for business, it will be a definite must-see for anyone visiting Dubai.
5. Dawang Mountain Resort — Changsha, China
China is quickly becoming home to innovative attractions, and the forthcoming Ice and Snow World development near Changsha is no exception. Nestled in the Dawang Mountains, Deep Pit Ice and Snow World will combine an entertainment center with an indoor ski slope, water park and a variety of shops and restaurants all situated above an abandoned rock quarry. This innovative leisure space will integrate islands, water features, cliffside paths and ramps connecting the main building with the surrounding natural scenery. Additionally, the curvaceous main building, spanning 558 feet across the former quarry, is planned to house a luxury hotel with a restaurant and bar, as well as versatile conference spaces, a spa and a fitness center. Although an opening date has not yet been announced, visiting this spectacular resort will be a must for visitors to Changsha for years to come.