Tele­porters and fly­ing cars – the fu­ture of trans­port

Could the UAE her­ald in the age of fly­ing ve­hi­cles?

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Sar­wat Nasir @Sar­watNasir sar­

Fly­ing cars, tele­por­ta­tion and bul­let-like trains – it all sounds like trans­porta­tion meth­ods from a sci-fi movie, but en­gi­neers be­lieve it could soon be a re­al­ity.

A group of en­gi­neers has shared with 7DAYS what they think trans­porta­tion could look like in Dubai 50 years from now. They shared their views shortly af­ter it was an­nounced that the UAE is in­vest­ing mil­lions of dol­lars into the re­search and devel­op­ment of the Hyper­loop – a train that can travel from Dubai to Fu­jairah in 10 min­utes.

The As­so­ciate Dean of the Fac­ulty of En­gi­neer­ing at the Univer­sity of Wol­lon­gong in Dubai, Mo­hamed Watfa, be­lieves that the first fly­ing mo­tor­cy­cle will be in­tro­duced in Dubai over the course of the next two to three years.

Watfa, who is the founder of a drone re­search cen­tre at the univer­sity, said: “At our re­search cen­tre, we al­ready have drones that are au­ton­o­mous and ob­jects that can fly be­cause of the drones. So, fly­ing cars, es­pe­cially au­ton­o­mous ones, are a very big pos­si­bil­ity and the UAE is lead­ing in this area.

“The UAE has the kind of in­fra­struc­ture fly­ing cars and mo­tor­cy­cles re­quire. And I think this trans­porta­tion method would be much safer in the UAE than any­thing that trav­els on the roads. In the air, you have much more space and not hav­ing in­fra­struc­ture in the way gives you flex­i­bil­ity.” Watfa also be­lieves be­ing able to tele­port ob­jects through a gi­ant ma­chine will also be a pos­si­bil­ity within 100 years just by chang­ing the molec­u­lar struc­ture of an ob­ject. How­ever, one air­craft en­gi­neer thinks that hover cars will come into play first. Ha­mad Is­mail said hover cars that can lift two to three feet off the ground through mag­netic power will be a step­ping stone to fly­ing cars. He said: “Mag­netic plates would re­place the wheels and the roads would be equipped with mag­nets as well. You’d turn the car on and the mag­nets would re­pel and the car will hover. “This would also help re­duce ac­ci­dents, as it will have auto de­tec­tion in it. “One of the dif­fer­ences be­tween a hover and fly­ing car would be the al­ti­tude. “A fly­ing car would be able to go a 1,000ft into the air – but what if an en­gine mal­func­tions? That’s why hover cars would be a good start.” Fu­ture trans­porta­tion is al­ready be­com­ing a re­al­ity in Dubai. Driver­less ve­hi­cles, called EZ10, were de­ployed in Down­town Dubai last month. The test was a part of Dubai’s long-term vi­sion of switch­ing 25 per cent of its trans­porta­tion into driver­less forms by 2030. Mas­dar City in Abu Dhabi also has the driver­less cars, called Per­sonal Rapid Tran­sit.

‘Fly­ing cars are a big pos­si­bil­ity and the UAE is lead­ing the way here’ – UAE-based en­gi­neer

SKY HIGH: This may be a scene from the film The Fifth El­e­ment but it could be­come a re­al­ity

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