Back To The Future II still has about a year or so on the clock before we arrive in what it saw as “the future.” And believe it or not, it’s got a pretty good track record, in technological terms. But what about the more “out there” stuff? Could it actually come true, in a year?
VTOL (Vertical Takeoff & Landing) Cars
We need to get specific here because if you want to get anal-retentive, flying cars, technically called roadable aircraft, have been around for decades. What makes the DeLorean unique is its vertical takeoff and landing, or VTOL, capability, which realistically flying cars would need to be remotely useful as a replacement for cars. And, in fact, we might actually have them by 2015.
It’s actually being constructed by, who else, DARPA, but it’s not exactly the DeLorean of your dreams. Instead, it’s a drone with heavy freight capabilities that can carry and detach cargo, such as a vehicle, or pods full of supplies. Just to kill your dreams even further, they’re calling it a Transformer when it is clearly not one.
Still, it’s close enough for government work. So it’s plausible that at least the military will have this by 2015.
The idea of being able to just fling random crap into your car and have it run is the dream of anybody dealing with $4 gas. And believe it or not, we’re actually fairly close to a commercial version of this technology, albeit not fusion.
Essentially, we can power our cars and home with specific types of trash thanks to biogas. Add bacteria and stuff they can digest, remove the air, and you get… well, millions of little critters farting in a sealed tank. It’s a bit like being trapped in the men’s room at a Taco Bell.