Rail strikes continue to make the news, as they prevent people from being able to commute easily – and there’s no end in sight to further travel disruption this year.
Now, we know a thing or two about transport and logistics, but it is to Hollywood we turn – where imagination knows no bounds – in the hope that the visionary ideas of filmmakers may indeed come true.
If we lived in a world where Sci-Fi movie predictions for how we travel could become a reality, these are our five picks to help us get to work on time.
What are those 5 Sci-Fi Films?
Total Recall (1990) – Autonomous Taxi
Director Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall – set in 2084 and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger – takes audiences on a journey to Mars using a device called the Rekall, that implants artificial memories into the protagonist’s mind.
The concept of altering one’s reality through technology foreshadows the potential for virtual experiences to supplant physical travel. But, it was the inclusion of the autonomous taxi Johnny Cab that put this movie way ahead of its time.
The taxi had an automated driver that followed voice commands to get Arnie to his destination, and it’s fair to say that this technology is almost here – how long before an affordable Tesla will let us dictate our commute to the office in a few years’ time…?
Back to the Future Part II (1989) – Hoverboard
Robert Zemeckis’s Back to the Future Part II is a quintessential example of how ’80s Hollywood envisioned many aspects of the future.
Set in the year 2015, the film showcases all kinds of futuristic tech and gadget predictions (did you know self-lacing shoes have actually been invented by Nike!).
The iconic DeLorean time machine, capable of traversing through time, became a symbol of cinematic innovation, but it was the hoverboard that stood out for this article.
Requiring a reasonable degree of balance (and not suitable for travelling over water, remember), the hoverboard helped Marty McFly out of some sticky situations and will certainly get you moving faster than a brisk dash to the bus stop when you’re running late.
Minority Report (2002) – Driverless Pods
Steven Spielberg’s excellent Minority Report presents a future where predictive technology allows authorities to prevent crimes before they happen.
Among the many futuristic elements in the film, one standout feature are the endless driverless Maglev vehicles that effortlessly glide along magnetic tracks.
These autonomous vehicles show the audience a future where transportation is not only incredibly efficient, but also seamlessly integrated within a smart city infrastructure.
We can see this totally happening and there would be plenty of time to call your Mum in the car or do today’s Wordle!
Star Trek (2009) – Teleporting
The big screen reboot of cult sci-fi title Star Trek reinvigorated the iconic franchise with a fresh perspective on space exploration.
The film reintroduces viewers to the USS Enterprise, a spacecraft capable of travelling faster than the speed of light using warp drive technology. Cool.
Putting warp-speed to one side for a moment, the ability to teleport (or if you insist on the technical terminology – the process of dematerialisation and rematerialisation by beaming from one place to another) takes a vehicle entirely out of the equation!
Imagine having breakfast, grabbing your bag and then beaming straight to your destination in a nanosecond!
You would miss out on a cheeky Gregg’s second breakfast on the way, though.
The Fifth Element (1997) – Flying Traffic
Our fifth (no pun intended) and final futuristic travel movie is Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element, which presents a visually stunning vision of the future.
Bruce Willis plays cab driver Korben Dallas, who operates a flying taxi that zips through the skies of a bustling metropolis.
The film’s imaginative portrayal of urban transport, complete with airborne vehicles and towering skyscrapers, captures the essence of an angry New York street, but in the sky!
While you’d still expect to be stuck in an air-traffic jam (and would probably be ordering the driver to get you to work faster), flying to work certainly has the benefit of a better view!
Flights of Fancy
These ideas may have all been indulgent flights of fancy, but it is fascinating to think about how the travel problems of today might seem quite ridiculous in decades (or centuries) to come, when technology goes way beyond our current frames of reference.
Whatever new travel inventions await us, for now we’ll just have to hope someone important in the technology world is getting serious about making one of these happen!
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