Transportation in 2030 – Where are the flying cars?

When we were all kids, The Jetson’s promised that one day “in the future” we’d all be driving around in the sky in flying cars that looked like spaceships.  It seems as though that one day is still a very long time away.

Today, we look out our windows and see congestion, and have to wonder if it will ever get better?  New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management researchers put on their thinking caps, talked to some of the best minds in the transportation field, and envisioned what our highways and byways might look like in 2030, a mere decade and a half from now. The result is called Re-Programming Mobility: The Digital Transformation of Transportation in the United States.  You can download the full study here:

Researchers looked at four areas of the U.S. where traffic is particularly heavy: Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, and the state of New Jersey. They then crafted possible scenarios for each area, based on terrain, population density, infrastructure, and even climate.  Ultimately, any of the four scenarios could play out in any of the four study areas. They represent extreme cases and show what hell — or heaven — we could be heading for.  Who knows if any or all those scenarios will play out exactly as envisioned.  Still, the study makes for good reading. As the authors say in the introduction:

“We present these scenarios as a provocation to transportation policymakers, managers, and planners with the goal of stimulating a national debate about the potential impacts of these new technologies and services, and how government can accommodate their vast potential to improve transportation and anticipate and mitigate their unintended consequences.”


Atlanta: Georgia’s capital city could be a bright spot in America’s transportation landscape by 2030. That’s due a number of factors including topography, its location, and its close ties to Google.  That creates a perfect storm for Google’s autonomous cars, which can use city infrastructure and apps like Waze to help travelers navigate around traffic snarls. Researchers envision the creation of special transit lanes for autonomous vehicles, which, in turn, boosts adoption of the vehicles, easing traffic along the way.

Boston: Unlike Atlanta, Boston is on the coast. It’s also an old city, with a well-defined downtown. In the Rudin Center’s scenario, downtown Boston becomes a magnet for young people who want to live in a compact, walkable city. Like Times Square in New York, much of the city is converted to pedestrian thoroughfares and bike lanes. And in an interesting twist, deliveries are made at night, while residents sleep, keeping carriers off city streets at the busiest hours of the day.

Los Angeles: Los Angeles has a reputation for hellish commutes, and in the Rudin Center’s scenario, things only get worse. Like Atlanta, Los Angeles becomes a hotspot for autonomous cars. Unlike Atlanta, however, those cars come from a range of automakers, all of which use competing communications standards, which prevents them from “talking” to one another.  That – combined with the fact that many older drivers want to continue driving themselves around instead of relying on a computer – leads to complete chaos. And probably a lot of road rage.

New Jersey: The Rudin Center study gives the Garden State the “mixed bag” treatment. On the one hand, New Jersey is imagined as a place wracked by intense storms over the next few years, which destroy much of the state’s roadway infrastructure. On the other hand, that adversity forces New Jersey to reevaluate its transportation policy, and in doing so, the state chooses to invest heavily in mass transit – namely, trains and autonomous buses. This catches on quickly with New Jersey’s younger residents, who prefer not to own vehicles.

So although we won’t be flying around in the sky, we will all still need vehicles in 2030, and Beach Auto Brokers is here it help you!!!

Beach Auto Brokers has been in business since 1985, Driven by excellence and proudly serving the Hampton Roads community for over 25 years. The Beach Auto Brokers full inventory of vehicles is available for you to look at, test drive, and ask questions about.  And our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you.