Driverless Cars, a Bullet Train, Hyperloop, & Flying Taxis

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Fast becoming a leader in futuristic transportation concepts, Dallas has some ground-breaking projects in which you can anticipate in the near future. Beginning with the proposed bullet train from DFW to Houston and ending with flying taxis (yes, you read that right!), north Texas is becoming a focal point of public transportation options never thought possible only a few short years ago.

Driverless Cars, a Bullet Train, Hyperloop, & Flying Taxis: Oh My

Photo: Facebook/Texas Transportation Museum

The Texas Central bullet train project has the possibility of being slated for construction as early as 2019. The 200-mile-per-hour rail travel proposal from Dallas to Houston recently announced a partnership with Amtrak to tie into its network and to cover last-mile trips. This 240-mile-long development is being privately financed to the tune of $15 billion, and those spearheading the project have identified $36 billion in direct project spending, thousands of construction jobs, and $3 billion in local and state taxes to be generated through 2040.

Driverless Cars, a Bullet Train, Hyperloop, & Flying Taxis: Oh My

Photo: Facebook/Toppy

Dallas officials have also stated that a study has recently been launched to investigate a new transportation system which could ultimately create the fastest mode of ground travel in Texas. It’s called the Texas Hyperloop One project (think about getting to Austin from Dallas in roughly 19 minutes!). An environmental impact study is being conducted by the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Transportation Council over a two-to-three-year period to determine the effects of this new tube transportation technology which, in effect, consists of high-speed travel (to the tune of 500 or more mph) made possible by the removal of air pressure using magnetic levitation. According to Michael Morris, Director of Transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, told with respect to population statistics “We are at 7.5 million people (in Dallas-Fort Worth) on our way to 12 million in the next 30 years. I think it is an environment that welcomes new technology, new investments to handle what will be 12 million people trying to get around our region.”

Driverless Cars, a Bullet Train, Hyperloop, & Flying Taxis: Oh My

Photo: Facebook/Gary Armstrong Gary

Plus, in Frisco (a Dallas suburb), America’s first autonomous public car service began in July of this year. Where traffic congestion is considered to be an enormous problem, this is one of the latest steps being taken in DFW for improved mobility. The newly formed Frisco Transportation Management Association manages the self-driving cars (they are, in fact, driverless), which have been identified as being just the beginning. Mayor Jeff Cheney told a crowd of dignitaries, “Frisco is making a statement that we’re going to lead in innovation.” Texas was one of only 10 states approved in 2017 by the U.S. Department of Transportation to be a proving ground for automated vehicle technologies such as this.

Driverless Cars, a Bullet Train, Hyperloop, & Flying Taxis: Oh My

Photo: Facebook/TradingBells

To top it off – almost like the pièce de résistance in public transportation – Uber announced that Dallas would be the testing grounds…’er testing airspace for a flying ride-hailing service. Again, you read that right. Flying taxis are a concept coming to the Dallas, Texas, area looking to implement new technologies to combat road congestion. In May of this year, Uber released its latest prototype and design specs on the flying taxis, which are actually called electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, or eVTOLs. This latest in modes of travel on the horizon for north Texas citizens is catching the eyes and minds of people world-wide, generating an unprecedented level of enthusiasm and interest, and placing Dallas under the microscope for its models of forward thinking. To say that the world will be watching Dallas in the next decade to monitor its public transportation plans and progress would be an understatement. Do you anticipate travel using any of these methods of public transportation in the near future? If so, you may play even a small role in what looks to be the greatest launch of public mobility the world has seen in quite some time. And it’s all happening here in Texas.