Future of Public transport

Transportation has always played a massive role in our lives. A century or more ago, when a horse died in the middle of a cross country journey usually there was a second one handy so people weren’t stuck in the middle of nowhere twiddling their thumbs. Thankfully, transport has become a lot more reliable. It has been an integral part of our development and as the 21st century approaches its third decade, it’s becoming more than just a way to survive getting from A to B but an experience in itself. A very convenient and comfortable experience. Here are just five of the impressive design concepts that could be part of your everyday life.


It’s probably the closest innovators have come to making high speed vac-train transport a reality. Hyperloop would take passengers along a 560 km route in 35 minutes. It uses mag-lev technology within an airless tube, which allows it to reach the high speeds without resistance. Elon Musk, one of the founders, has some big ideas and not just for here on Earth. Musk has said that the concept would be perfect on Mars since the planet on has 1 percent gravity and wouldn’t need a tube at all, just a track. Right now though, it’s still in the testing phase and competition is fierce with Chinese company The Chinese Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation recently unveiling its own “flying train”. That train would reach speeds of 4,000 km/h and be four times faster than any commercial airplane.

General Motors’ EN-V

The concept first came to the public’s attention in 2010 when General Motors first introduced the idea of a small, driverless, two wheeled pod. While it still hasn’t come to fruition just yet, the joint venture between Segway and General Motors is going to be trialled in Tianjin Eco City in China by 2020. Once it is complete and ready for sale, the concept car will be completely autonomous, you will be able to call for it on the phone but will only travel about 40km/h. It might be hard imagine driving one of  these pods long distances or in a hurry but they are designed to help reduce accidents on the roads during peak hour, which makes sense in congested cities.

General Motors EN-V will start trials in 2020. Photo: Supplied

Terrafugia TF-X and Transition

Terrafugia’s mission is to create practical flying cars. While even the thought of that is mind boggling right now, it’s looking like a serious possibility. The first prototype, Transition, took flight in 2009 and is meant to go on sale in the next eight to twelve years. The public are able to reserve their very own flying car right now with a deposit of $10,000 USD (with the total cost being nearly $280,000 USD). It’s certainly a bold idea, as the Transition will be fully electric with foldable wings and also happens to be the only flying car in the world to receive all the essential legal certifications to be sold in the United States. Right now, in Australia people are struggling to legally fly drones let alone allowing a car to use our roads as a runway, so it might take a while to make its way to us.

NEXT Future Transportation

These look like they belong on the set of a futuristic science fiction movie. NEXT are swarm vehicles which essentially means they are operated by multiple robots which are all programed to have a collective brain. Like getting you to work on time without sitting in traffic for 45 minutes? Well, according to the company its concept would not only save lives and reduce congestion but unlike singular pods that only accommodate between one and four people, this could potentially be turned into a type of public transportation system. Although they are quick to point out who would lose out if their system were implemented; mechanics, taxi drivers and insurance companies.

Lexus Slide

So this concept has already been turned into a reality but Lexus has proved with the Slide that it is possible to fulfil all your childhood dreams. Seriously though, it is an actual hover board you can use at a specific skate spark in Spain. The board uses superconductors that are attracted to the magnetic field that runs throughout the skate park so it can levitate. Essentially if it stays under a certain temperature the board is able to run indefinitely without needing to be charged or fuelled. The innovation took Lexus just over a year to create and was part of the Amazing in Motion campaign. No doubt one day technology will allow the public the opportunity to buy hover boards that can be used anywhere.

Lamborghini Urus

A 478kW twin-turbo V8 engine, Formula One-style carbon ceramic brakes and 23-inch alloy wheels - the Lamborghini Urus is not your typical SUV.

The Italian brand revealed its new SUV at an all-new factory built at its Sant'Agata headquarters to produce the unique vehicle. It’s the second SUV in the brand’s history following the short-lived LM002 in the 1980s.

The car made an appearance particularly in the luxury segment as it continues to grow and Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali said at the launch he is “confident the Urus will double the brand’s sales by 2019”. The Urus is due to go on sale in Europe, America and Asia in early 2018 and is now available for deposits. The concept was accidentally leaked back in 2012 at a “top secret meeting” but due to the leaked information Lamborghini decided to show the concept to the world in the Shanghai motor show.

The breakdown of luxury car tax

High-end luxury cars cost more in Australia than many other places.

This is because we're a long way from manufacturing centres in Europe, Japan and America, because our cars are made in a less common right-hand-drive layout, and because luxury cars have a higher specification here.

But those factors are much less significant than the Government's luxury car tax.

Australian motorists pay a significant tax on new vehicles priced above a threshold that changes from year to year.

The Turnbull Government announced this week that the luxury car tax (LCT) is here to stay for another 12 months, and that the threshold has shifted slightly, climbing to $65,094 for the 2017-18 financial year for cars that use more than 7L/100km, and remaining steady at $75,526 for cars that use less fuel than that.

The tax is imposed at a rate of 33 per cent above the threshold – so a fuel efficient car that costs $175,000 (pre-tax) requires the 33 per cent levy to be paid on around $100,000, resulting in $33,000 in LCT that pushes the car's retail price well beyond the $200,000 mark.

LCT applies in addition to other measures such as a 5 per cent import duty and 10 per cent GST, so a model like BMW's flagship 7-Series, which costs $305,461 before LCT and GST are factored in, comes in at $419,000 plus on-road costs.

The LCT threshold for efficient vehicles has increased by just $526 since 2009-10, whereas the threshold for regular cars has climbed by $7914 (up from $57,180) in the same period.

Government agencies are considering revisions to the measure, though that seems unlikely in the short term as the government continues to count on billions of dollars in LCT revenue tabled to arrive in years to come.

Few things unite the car industry like its opposition to LCT, which has been characterised as an unfair and discriminatory measure.

Britain announces petrol and diesel car ban

Britain will ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 as part of a movement to improve air quality and fight off climate change.

Authorities have outlined the plans of a program that will see the nation transition away from petrol and diesel cars in coming years, providing funding to local governments to encourage improvements in air quality. “Today we’re confirming as part of our plan to deal with air pollution that we will go ahead with getting rid of these polluting cars.”

“It’s critically important for the government to help the car industry do the right thing.”

Diesel has proved far more popular in Britain than Australia, helped by a tax structure that encourages consumers to choose cars with low C02 emissions – vehicles that burn fewer litres of fuel per kilometre travelled. But diesel cars also produce more nitrogen oxides and harmful particulates than petrol cars, leading health experts to estimate that as many as 40,000 people die in the UK each year because of pollution caused by cars and trucks.

While authorities have not pointed to recent diesel emissions scandals in the car industry as a reason to ban the fuel type, the issues will not have built confidence in the car industry as governments become more mindful of public health.

What to do in a Car Accident

You can never predict when you might be involved in a car accident, it can happen because someone took their eyes off the road for a second or in more serious crashes because of drugs or alcohol. The most important thing to remember when you've just been involved in an accident is to not panic, it's the absolute worst thing you can do and will only help to escalate things further.

Instead of Panicking have a plan on what to do.

1. If possible move your car to a safe spot on the side of the road to reduce congestion. If the car is too badly damaged put on the hazard lights, turn off the ignition and leave the car where it is.

2. Check that everyone is okay, Not just in your car, but in others also. If someone is trapped, dead or injured call 000 straight away.

3. Call the police, The time period of which you call the police is directly dependent on the severity of the accident. By law the police need to be called as soon as possible if:

• Someone is injured or has died

• One of the drivers fails to stop and give their details

• There is serious damage to property or animals

• If you suspect that the other driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol

• A bus or truck needs to be towed

However, if there is only minor damage and both parties involved are happy to simply exchange insurance details then you can call the police within 24 hours and notify them of the accident.

4. Exchange details. When you're in such a stressful situation, sometimes the most obvious things can completely escape you. So it's important to have a list of details you need to get from the other driver involved, these include:

• Name, contact details and license number

• Details of the other car: make, model and registration number

• A brief summary of what happened including the exact location

• The other driver's insurance details

5. Don't take the blame. While it might be tempting to apologise profusely if you feel that you are in fact at fault for the accident, leave that up to the insurance companies to decide. Try to also keep a level head, if you believe that the other person was at fault, don't argue with them. It will only make things far more tense and the person might not be willing to co-operate with you.