The future of travel

I am returning home from speaking at Worth Magazine’s Cities 2019 Summit in Savannah, Georgia. 

While I often ponder what it is like to be a young adult in today’s economy, I also cannot help being excited about the proposed changes to our cities and transportation infrastructure in the next 10-15 years. 

On the panel forum I participated in, I had the opportunity to speak alongside representatives from Virgin Hyperloop, a novel solution that always grabs my interest as the most likely solution to succeed from a mass and rapid transit aspect.

Aside from the fact that Sir Richard Branson is at the helm of a company with an extraordinary group of young and talented visionaries, the truth is, it makes sense. 

It is odd to think of ourselves speeding through a tube over the ground at roughly the speed of sound with no windows to look out (although windows would probably make even the strongest stomach a little queasy).

That is exactly what is being proposed and it is getting a lot of people very excited. 

Our flying car (www.pal-v.com) is slated for deliveries in 2021 and at the same time Virgin is hoping to run pilot projects in India and Cleveland, Ohio. 

The hyper loop pod, which is built for a small number of people, is designed to take you from A to B with no stops. A 500-kilometre journey will take approximately 20 minutes which can revolutionize our commercial market place, our evening entertainment options and ability to live in desirable locations with a short commute to work. 

The tubes will be a virtual vacuum with a magnetic levitated pod and electric propulsion system through the tunnel. In the quieter times as passenger traffic evolves and passenger loading data is available, Virgin is hoping to do commercial parcel deliveries. 

Does it have the opportunity to reduce traffic on highways?

Indeed it does, particularly with a variable mountain climate. I can fly with the not-so-unusual inherent weather delays or drive on dangerous roads, but for less money I can hop on a pod and do some work, watch a movie or read a book. 

A lot of work and research is going in to how the interior design of the pod will look and the effects of vibrations and slight curves at 700 mph will have on our bodies. 

I think it is pretty cool and has a strong likelihood of eating into the airline monopoly that exists in Canada and to a lesser extent the U.S.

Check it out: https://hyperloop-one.com/


Living in an electric world

We Cannot Reduce Strain On The Grid And Convert To Electric Vehicles

It is not possible to have our cake and eat it, yet the conflict between consuming less power and turning everything electric is fascinating. 

In taking a look at what it takes to charge an electric vehicle, I found research suggesting a standard Tesla model S requires approximately 130kwh (kilo watt hours) to charge from empty to full.

That is roughly equivalent to boiling water constantly in your kitchen kettle for 130 hours or three working weeks.

To supply this kind of energy more quickly requires a much larger supply that is not already available in many instances. 

Fast forward to a world where we are expected to have electric cars, electric planes, electric boats, electric trains, electric trucks, electric bikes and anything else you can think of electric and I foresee a massive problem. 

The infrastructure upgrades required to complete this forecast task is massive and the power required to “fast charge” a Boeing 777 (electric equivalent) will knock your socks off and make your hair stand on end at the same time.

I don’t get it when the push for these changes are coming from people wanting to “save the planet.” It seems we are being a little shortsighted or we are willing to travel through a landscape proliferated by nuclear power plants. 

Whatever the future holds, I did get a chuckle from seeing a Facebook post by a prominent member of the Green Party showing numbers for how his solar system at his house is giving more back to the grid than it is taking from it.

His suggestion was that we should all change to solar to reduce the strain on the grid.

You see, you can’t have your cake and eat it.

Growing up Is a trap

It came to my attention (and that of my wife) last week that if the car you are racing goes off the road down a steep bank then it pays to be fit, strong and healthy.

My poor wife had to lift the passenger door against gravity and then push up on the roll cage to extract herself and is now covered in bruises. 

So exactly what does “fit strong and healthy” mean. 

Apparently, not what I thought it did.

The confusion reminds me of the Alanis Morissette song, Isn’t it Ironic.

In an endeavour to stay healthy, I can do a few hundred squats without too much of a challenge, with weights if necessary. But if I have to get on the ground to help change a wheel on the car, I need a helping hand to get up.

Similarly, I can lift weights, run a marathon, stretch out after, compete in a triathlon etc., but if I bend over to my shoe laces. I can put my back out and need bed rest for a few days. 

Still, I am not giving in.

I am still going to race cars, travel the world in business, play my guitar like a rock star, do crazy adventures, love my wife to the max and cross the finishing line in heaven kicking and screaming that it was a total riot.

At some point, it may have to stop, but not by my choice.

Growing up is a trap!


Crashing out of the rally

I had a blast.

Last week, we entered the Rocky Mountain Rally in Invermere with the goal of finishing in the top 10.

The car was fast, but I had never driven it in an event. My wife was really good at reading notes, but had never participated in an event. My car was looking like it would hold together, but was old.

Finally, I was looking like I could hold together, but I was old  and had not competed for several years.

We were driving for the Big O tires rally team in the Valley Mitsubishi EVO 4. 

Getting to the event included the usual drama of making sure that everything almost worked and finally deciding that we should go anyway even if something was going to break. 

We pulled out of town on Wednesday evening with a massive amount of work and three inspections ahead. After failing to make Invermere in time, we contacted the scrutinisers and indicated we would arrive the next day for inspections. 

We were so excited to receive the positive news that our inspections were successful and we could compete. Back to business, we now had to Recce 200 kilometres of competitive stages and write notes so we could run through as fast as possible. 

On Saturday morning, after all of the head aches, work, running around for replacement parts and getting ready for inspections, my wife woke up a little emotional and said she hadn’t slept a wink and could not compete. 

A few hours later, after some serious crisis intervention, we were back on track with a promise from me that despite all we had gone through it would be fun eventually. 

We hit the start line and quickly made our mark. Checking with teams around us we realized that we needed to move up the start order. From a seeding of 23 we were setting top 10 times and were eventually moved to 10th, which was exciting, but would also make our life easier since we would not be catching cars up. 

The day went well until the penultimate stage of the day when on the exit of a sharp corner, we had a tie rod end break and were thrown over a steep bank without any control.

Sitting in the car at a very steep angle, ready to roll over at any moment, my wife continued to read the notes until I explained that we were finished and she should carefully get out of the car before it rolled.

Jackie, who is a grandmother already, managed to some how open the door against gravity, lift herself out of a very constrained cockpit to safety and let other teams know we were safe. 

We then proceeded to sit on a grassy bank in the middle of the bush expecting a grizzly bear to walk by at any moment.

We found ourselves chuckling about what a fun day it was and what a great community the rally community is as we waited for the volunteer “beast-sweep” extraction crew to swing by to help us out. 

I guess the take-away is that no matter how difficult life gets, there is always a moment where you can simply sit down and smell the roses.

More It's All About . . . articles

About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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