“I feel the need for speed”
We are living in fast paced environment where time is the essence. Reducing travel time is certainly a much sought after goal. Imagine being able to travel to New York in the morning, attend a meeting or two, have lunch and be back for evening dinner! Advancements in aviation will soon make that possible as crossing the Atlantic will take no longer than 3 hours, thus reducing the current time by more than half. But this will come at a cost and initially only viable for the business and first class passengers.
Another innovation that will reduce total travel time is something being tried out by Airbus. Today aircrafts spend a long time on the ground taxing and manoeuvring around other aircraft. Airbus is trialling foldable wings which will make this much easier and thereby quicker. Taking off time and landing time will both be reduced.
Not so nervous flying
For the nervous flier, air turbulence is a major cause of their aversion to flying. However, advancements in technology already allow the Boeing Dreamliner to significantly lessen the effects of air turbulence through adjusting the wing flaps. And development is ongoing to be able to assess the air patterns hundreds of miles away which will allow pilots to manoeuvre the aircraft away from that area in advance.
The airline seat is also set to see technology helping with the travel experience. KLM are working on developing smart seats which will collect live data on the passenger. By monitoring heart rate, hydration levels and body temperature, the airline will be able tailor their services to specific needs.
Technology on the ground
Our airports are also changing as the introduction of new technology transforms work patterns and enhances the travel experience. In the background, already Schipol airport is using robotic baggage handlers to ease the burden and strain.
In Germany, Dusseldorf airport has introduced automated valet parking. Drive your car to a parking bay and the car is automatically lifted to an available slot. With the Internet of Things, airports can monitor passenger movement and guide them easily through to specific locations. Re-directing passengers when there have been flight gate changes is so much easier and real time.