Fast Company magazine recently reached out to us to weigh in on predictions for the year 2030. Our resident futurist, Devin Liddell, was happy to share his thoughts on the future of travel.
With absolute certainty, climate change will be the defining force in the next decade for all of us. There will be a growing earnestness to rethink how we live, work, and move around in response to conspicuous signals that we’re in trouble, from everyday tidal flooding to increasingly bizarre weather. Despite these alarm bells, the challenge ahead for designers will be to reconcile these necessary changes with our penchant for greed and laziness as consumers. This can be done, though, and here are two opportunities that fit this bill.
Replicating In-person collaboration through technology.
First, not moving around as we much as we do now will become a focus, especially for private and public employers compelled to curb business travel in the interest of reducing their carbon footprints. The design opportunity here is to create all-new ways of replicating in-person collaborations. Forget videoconferencing, which is a cave person version of what’s ahead. Instead, there will be breakthroughs in extended reality, robotics, and smart surfaces that let us transcend geography.
Making all forms of transportation intermodel and multifunctional.
Second, we’ll have to be a lot more efficient when we are moving around. All transportation will become intermodal (meaning it orchestrates handshakes with other modalities) and multifunctional (meaning it does more than just one thing). Jammed city infrastructures will not tolerate one-dimensional vehicles that just deliver people or just deliver freight. This will require new vehicle form factors that are born of co-designing. Earlier in the decade, vehicles that are actually designed for both ride-sharing and delivering food and parcels will emerge. Later on, we’ll see wilder mashups between cars and non-automotive brands that offer entirely new mobility experiences.”
Find out what experts in other industries predict on Fast Co.