MindBullets is a part of the global FutureWorld Network, constantly sensitive to changes in the technological, economic, social, political and business landscape. The MindBullets Contributors scan this rapidly changing environment for clues about possible future trends. The results of this synthesis are combined by our contributors into an on-going series of MindBullets: News from the Future - with a summary emailed to you every Thursday and the complete MindBullets data base available online to explore each scenario in more detail. Exciting scenarios of alternative futures based on breakthrough thinking today. A powerful tool to help you learn from the future - a new MindBullet every week!

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Filtered by tag: Airlines

YOUR ROBOT CAR NEEDS A DRIVER UPDATE

Published on: 21 March 2019 1 Comment

Computers can also make mistakes

Dateline: 22 March 2022

Your driverless car does have a driver, but it's not human, it's a machine; or rather, a system, including bits of hardware and software, and things to make them operate independently and together. If it sounds pretty complicated, that's because modern automated systems are. In fact, if it wasn't for the sophistication of electronic components and their advanced programmability, we wouldn't have reusable space rockets or driverless cars at all. Assuming you've used a laptop computer for many years, ...

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BIG BROTHER AT BORDER CREATES BIG STOCK DRAMA

Published on: 25 October 2018

Did New Zealand Customs official leak info from traveller's phone?

Dateline: 7 June 2019

Very few people expected that the New Zealand law, which allows customs officials to inspect and copy data on travellers' digital devices, would still be enforced months later. The only alternative is for the passenger to pay a hefty fine, but how is that really different from a bribe? Right from the start, with the new law introduced in October last year, human rights groups have been up in arms, but this week the wider world took notice as well. A highly agitated male, sweating profusely, was ...

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CRUISING THE CROWDED SKIES

Published on: 18 October 2018 1 Comment

Everybody who's anybody is a frequent flyer

Dateline: 20 March 2038

In the last couple of decades, air traffic has rocketed. Annual air passenger numbers have shot up from less than 8 billion in 2018 to over 20 billion today. That's almost three times the world population, every year! Bearing in mind that hardly any flights exceed 24 hours, that means that, on average, 60 million people are boarding flights, somewhere, every day. And that doesn't include drone taxis and private planes. The only way major air terminals can cope with the hordes is increased reliance ...

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CHINESE MILLENNIALS OVERRUN THE WORLD

Published on: 10 May 2018

Tourism is the new addiction for affluent young Chinese

Dateline: 5 June 2025

In just over two decades China has grown from small fry in travel terms to the world's biggest outbound market, leapfrogging and outpacing the United States. "May you live in interesting times!" is an ancient Chinese curse, a bit like a reverse compliment. Now it should be "May you be visited by many Chillennials!" It's a double-edged sword, both a blessing and a curse. Chinese millennials, as a segment or cohort, have more spending power than their American or European counter-parts; partly due to ...

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HEATHROW BANS ALL HUMAN PILOTS

Published on: 27 July 2017 2 Comments

Peak airspace capacity relies on fully autonomous aircraft for holiday season

Dateline: 26 July 2027

As we approach the UK summer holidays and air traffic rises to its seasonal peak over South East England, aviation authorities have announced that only autopiloted flights will be allowed at airports servicing London and surrounds. "Automated take-off and landing is just so much more efficient," says Juliet Kennedy, Ops chief for NATS. "Humans can't deal with the pressure of 14-second gaps between planes!" Without this blanket ban on human-piloted craft and reliance on digital systems, the area ...

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SEE THE WORLD THROUGH MY EYES

Published on: 13 April 2017

Sharing your real-time view of life is bigger than Twitter or Instagram

Dateline: 26 April 2019

We had blogs, then vlogs, then Twitter and Periscope; everything becomes more immediate, as the news cycle and attention spans shorten. Remember when, a couple of years ago, a passenger was dragged off a United plane? The video of the poor guy went viral in hours. Now, the latest social media phenomenon is to share what you see - in real time, using Samsung's video contact lenses, called Viddyize. People who subscribe to your feed can see what you see - as you see it. With Viddyize, we could have ...

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GET ME TO THE GATE ON TIME

Published on: 30 March 2017 4 Comments

Self-driving luggage, for the truly 'last yards'

Dateline: 1 April 2019

Anyone who travels regularly on business knows what a schlep it is to drag your roll-aboard cabin bag around with you for what seems like - and probably is - miles and miles of airport concourses. And terminals seem to get bigger every year. Putting wheels on luggage was an innovative idea; one wonders why it took decades before that caught on in a big way. Then it was just a matter of time before someone added a laptop battery and a tiny electric motor, so your smart luggage could follow you ...

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AIRLINES SLUMP AS TRAVELERS CHOOSE THE EASY ROUTE

Published on: 19 May 2016

Taking the hyperloop or a fast bus is so much quicker

Dateline: 3 June 2018

There's a simple problem with air travel these days, which has proved impossible to solve. The more people that fly, the longer it takes; not just the flight, the queues through security, complex boarding procedures; the inevitable delay before push back; and then queuing for a take-off slot! It's becoming increasingly quicker to take an Uber, if it's not too far, or a train or FastBus. California will have soon have the Hyperloop, with pods that dash through a vacuum tube at aircraft speeds. At ...

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WELCOME TO MY MOBILE CRIB

Published on: 10 December 2015

Travelling 'apartments' are leaving planes and hotels empty

Dateline: 1 March 2028

Driverless cars were supposed to disrupt only the automotive sector and the insurance industry, right? Wrong. The latest victims are airlines and hotel chains - and they never even saw it coming. With green car technology sorted, it's no longer necessary to get vehicles off the road. In fact, the good old road trip is back - but this time with a twist. Travellers are now renting self-driving, customized cars and vans to chauffeur them from point A to point B in luxury. Passengers can sleep or ...

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JET PACK TAKES OFF

Published on: 23 July 2015 1 Comment

Talk about being upwardly mobile!

Dateline: 25 June 2016

After more than 35 years in development, the world's first commercially available jetpack is now on sale. The sticker price is a mere US$ 150,000. Made from carbon fiber and aluminium, the Martin Jetpack doesn't have the traditional rockets of science-fiction jetpacks, which are powerful but very difficult to control. Instead it uses rotary thruster fans, like a flying car. Actually, it's more like a flying bicycle. A small petrol engine drives two fans, one on either side of the pilot, to lift ...

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WHEN TECHNOLOGY FAILS TO FAIL

Published on: 8 January 2015 8 Comments

Critical system failures that don't trigger corrective action cause disasters

Dateline: 21 March 2016

Yet another airliner has fallen out of the sky without warning. And the reason is fail-safe systems that fail to alert the pilots to the real problem when they fail. If that sounds a little confusing, that's exactly what human operators experience, when autonomous systems default to manual control - the ultimate fallback when there are critical failures. Even double-redundant systems can be completely taken out by say, a solar flare, or a massive electromagnetic pulse; something as simple as a ...

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THIS IS THE END OF REALITY

Published on: 1 August 2013 1 Comment

What are the consequences of the 'virtual' becoming too attractive?

Dateline: 11 October 2025

I was having a late-night discussion with my father when he droned on about the "chore" of air travel two decades ago. Long queues, embarrassing security checks and confrontational passport officers seemed to turn a one-hour flight into a half-day nightmare. How much more fun, he said, were his two round-the-world trips yesterday. As a recent subscriber to Virgin Virtuality (VV for short) he has been able to travel like never before, at virtually zero cost, and experience the world "more sensually ...

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NEW YEAR PARTIES CANCELLED IN SUPER VOLCANO AFTERMATH

Published on: 27 December 2012

The Yellowstone caldera blows - most of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho covered in ash

Dateline: 31 December 2043

A mere 70,000 years after its last explosive eruption, the Yellowstone super volcano suddenly went critical, erupting with the force of a hundred H-Bombs. The eruption was classified as "Colossal" and is estimated to be fifty times the size of the Mt St Helens blast in 1980. The ash cloud, which rose 40km into the sky, has reached Europe and Africa and will encircle the planet in another week. Fortunately the advanced warning systems and disaster preparedness protocols kept human lives lost to a ...

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SPACE TOWER NEARS COMPLETION

Published on: 4 October 2012 1 Comment

The 22km lattice beam construction reaches twice as high as a jetliner

Dateline: 8 October 2030

Possibly the greatest example of innovation on a grand scale this century, the Space Tower has been 18 years in the making, and would not have been completed as soon without the component construction skills of Chinese building company BSB. Reaching more than 72,000 feet above sea level, the tower has tested every aspect of modern materials and construction. The final sections are being added by autonomous 'constructorbots' as it's just too difficult for humans to work at that altitude. Air traffic ...

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THE COMING FACE OF AIR TRAVEL

Published on: 30 August 2012 4 Comments

There isn't one: No pilots and no air traffic controllers

Dateline: 10 July 2019

When NATS, the UK National Air Traffic Control Service, was partially privatized in 2001, with the state retaining a 49% share, it started a long-running battle royal over privatization of such services across Europe. The remaining shares are owned by the major UK airlines (The Airline Group) and NATS staff. It's good business. NATS controllers alone direct almost 2.5 million flights a year, earning more than GBP 150 million profit and paying its shareholders almost 25% of that. The problem is that ...

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AIRLINES BLAME WINDY FARM FOR BUMPY RIDE

Published on: 28 June 2012 2 Comments

Turbulence in the skies from mushrooming turbines

Dateline: 17 June 2016

Airline pilots are blaming spreading wind farms, particularly in the North Sea, for increased discomfort when making their approach into Britain. According to Captain Mike Searle of BALPA, the British Airline Pilots Association, turbulence from the vortices thrown up by the whirling blades can be clearly seen streaming across the sea. "The real problem is that most of the turbulence is invisible; it's only when condensation forms, that you see the trails, and how far they spread." Climate ...

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TAKE THE TUBE TO NEW YORK

Published on: 17 May 2012 5 Comments

Vacuum tube transport gets you there in double-quick time

Dateline: 15 May 2022

It's been a decade in the building, but yesterday the super high speed tube line was officially opened. Four times faster than a jet plane, the SpaceTube links Washington DC with New York and Boston. "It's a bit like taking a limo or the subway," enthused a lobbyist who popped into the city for a quick meeting, "but it gets you from DC to NYC in minutes!" The concept is straightforward - by creating a partial vacuum in the tunnel, the maglev pods have zero wind resistance and can travel at Mach 3 - ...

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IT'S SUPER-SLOW AIR TRAVEL AS FLIGHT 2.0 CHANGES THE RULES

Published on: 27 January 2011 8 Comments

End of high-speed flying changes business and leisure travel

Dateline: 26 July 2052

Ah yes, I can still remember the days of dashing from New York to Paris in a few hours. Even a round-the-world trip from London to Australia took less than 24 hours. Those were the days... Those were the days indeed - before the world ran out of sufficient fossil fuel to allow the high-speed airline industry to continue. Instead, a radical concept called 'Flight 2.0', developed back early in the 21st Century by a young aviation expert, has been adopted and implemented by governments around the ...

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2010-2020: A DECADE OF STEP-CHANGE THINKING

Published on: 6 January 2011 5 Comments

A review of the past decade’s most important trends – PART 2

Dateline: 1 January 2020

Boeing Buys Bombardier as Air Travel Goes SmallBoeing last month outlined their view of the future: pilotless small planes that can land at any local airport, even without air traffic control. "We see Avis and Hertz being our biggest customers within a decade," says one Boeing executive. No more large unmanageable airport hubs - just point-to-point personal air travel, at prices to match the biggest jets. Passengers are delighted! Space Tourism a RealityThe long-held dream of space tourism has become ...

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AIRLINER 'CRASHES' AS HACKER GETS CONTROL

Published on: 28 October 2010 3 Comments

Computer virus used to take over plane's autopilot

Dateline: 9 November 2013

For the first time, an aircraft has been taken over by a hacker rather than a hijacker. In a bizarre incident over Eastern Europe yesterday, the captain of a passenger jet suddenly found that he was no longer in control of his plane. A cryptic message, "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US" flashed up on his multi-purpose instrument display; then the autopilot developed a mind of its own, and began behaving erratically. "It was like the plane was being flown by a first-timer in the simulator," reported ...

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Filtered by tag: Airlines