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: Travel

RUNAWAY TOURISM THREATENS EUROPE

Published on: 17 August 2017 1 Comment

Local activists stirring up resistance to the invasion

Dateline: 11 August 2019

"It's worse than migration," says an Arran spokesperson, "they are destroying our neighbourhoods and culture!" Arran is the radical anti-tourist movement in Spain. In Barcelona, Rome and Venice, protest marches have turned violent, and travel advisories have been issued by British and American authorities. Tensions between hordes of foreign tourists and nationalist locals have been escalating for the past two years, and are now boiling over. Share bikes and Uber cars have had their tyres slashed, ...

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HEATHROW BANS ALL HUMAN PILOTS

Published on: 27 July 2017

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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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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BORDERS CRUMBLE, COUNTRIES MERGE AND SPLIT

Published on: 29 October 2015 1 Comment

Migration is the new normal as ultra-mobility ramps up

Dateline: 28 October 2023

In the face of a constant flood of political and economic refugees, as well as 'citizens of the world,' geographic borders are becoming an increasingly archaic concept. People who have a home in Africa and an apartment in France, or Spain, are so tired of being quizzed by banks and online markets for 'Country of residence' and then treated like that's their only language or national identity. We are global citizens, and spend as much time, if not more, in 'foreign' lands as we do 'at home.' And why ...

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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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SPACEX LAUNCHES MOON TAXI

Published on: 16 April 2015 5 Comments

Fancy a walk on the dark side?

Dateline: 15 June 2029

It's fun to go away for a summer holiday, and what better, more exotic place than the moon? That's assuming you can afford the fare, of course. For the well-heeled, it has just become possible to take that once-in-a-lifetime trip to the moon, and back; courtesy of SpaceX. SpaceX has announced that it is opening bookings for round-trips to the moon, including landing on the surface and a short moon-walk. Following the successful powered landing of the Falcon 9 rocket in 2015, SpaceX was quick to ...

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DRIVERLESS CARS HURT INSURERS

Published on: 9 April 2015 4 Comments

Collision claims have fallen to a record low

Dateline: 2 February 2027

The roads have never been safer - 12 years ago, more than one million people died in car accidents worldwide, every year. This number has shrunk to an astonishing 250,000. Road rage is history. Commuting is a pleasure as passengers are able to do what they please while waiting to arrive at their chosen point B. It's just that for the insurance industry, self-driving cars have become a real pain. Lower claims mean lower premiums, and that's bad for business. One of the first weak signals, that ...

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WHEN TECHNOLOGY FAILS TO FAIL

Published on: 8 January 2015 5 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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DEADLY DIESEL'S CENTURY ENDS ABRUPTLY

Published on: 17 April 2014 4 Comments

Germany first to put health before economy

Dateline: 12 July 2017

Germany's Berliner Zeitung put it succinctly: Diesel Backfires - Decades of government support can't hide the ugly truth. It was only three years ago that government researchers began to admit that irritating private research may just be correct - the nitrogen dioxide emissions generated by diesel engines have increased substantially over the past two decades and there was no sign of a reversal. Tiny toxic particulates emitted by diesel engines, have been shown to pass through the lungs and enter ...

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BE MY MARTIAN VALENTINE

Published on: 13 February 2014 2 Comments

And we'll connect on the interplanetary internet

Dateline: 14 February 2028

Ten years ago we witnessed the first private, robotic mission to Mars, which also led to the start of an internet network linking all the rovers and probes stationed there. Shortly afterwards NASA managed to establish the first manned outpost on the Moon, linking up to the Space Station. Then came MarsOne. Just three years ago SpaceX's first fully reusable rocket ferried a small group of earthlings to the red planet where they started a colony. The human race became a Multiplanetary Civilization. ...

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USB SHOCKS THE POWER GRIDS

Published on: 7 November 2013 1 Comment

Low voltage power over computer cables reinvents the idea of electricity for consumers

Dateline: 21 March 2015

There's a new form of utility power, and it's taking the world by storm, from New York to Shanghai; from Cairo to Cape Town. The humble USB plug, so common for connecting and charging gadgets, is emerging as the new standard for electric power in the home and office, and on the move. Invented over 20 years ago, the USB plug was originally designed to simplify connecting devices to computers, but hidden in its design was a stroke of genius that would change the world - it also carried power to the ...

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CAR KILLS 20: WHO'S TO BLAME?

Published on: 29 August 2013 6 Comments

Court rules driver not responsible if car has on-board computer

Dateline: 12 September 2017

Yesterday's court ruling shows two things - just how far technology has gone and why we should fear our kids! The driver of the car that crashed into a crowd of football supporters, killing twenty, was judged to be "not responsible" because his car had an on-board computer. It was clear that this was the latest manifestation in a series of accidents in the past few months, now proved to have been caused by hackers remotely accessing BMW's 'Smart X' on-board computers. The culprits are believed to ...

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A THOUSAND FUTURE THOUGHTS

Published on: 22 August 2013 2 Comments

MindBullets celebrates twenty years of provocative scenarios

Dateline: 21 August 2023

Two decades ago FutureWorld began an innovative project; constructing weekly scenarios for the future, covering business, technology, society, politics, culture and global events. And so MindBullets: News from the Future was born. Provocative, engaging 'news stories' with a future dateline, designed to challenge the status quo, and highlight the consequences of today's breakthrough ideas. Since BEAM ME UP A BURGER, SCOTTY! was published in 2003, MindBullets have been arriving in tens of thousands ...

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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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ROTARY ENGINE SENDS SHOCK WAVES THROUGH AUTO INDUSTRY

Published on: 25 April 2013 3 Comments

The new wave disk power plant will change the way hybrid autos are designed and fueled. Is this a Black Swan approaching?

Dateline: 6 May 2015

The first commercial application of the Shockwave Engine has been piloted by Ford in their latest hybrid SUV. The brainchild of Norbert Mueller of Michigan State University, this innovative rotary engine uses a fraction of the fuel consumed by a normal piston engine, for the same power output. A cross between the Wankel rotary engine and a jet turbine, the Mueller engine is best suited to generating electric power at fairly constant speed, rather than driving a mechanical transmission. It runs on a ...

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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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Filtered by tag: Travel