Dallas may not get everything right, but it sure does embrace the future of transportation. Dallas is a proposed endpoint of the high-speed bullet train to Houston, which could end your days of plodding through East Texas in order to get to the Bayou City. As much as it would damage everyone’s caloric weigh station Buccees, reducing the 4-hour drive to 90 minutes would be worth it. The project is years away from completion and still has hurtles to clear, as landowners in East Texas haven’t been too excited about giving up their land for the train. This is Texas, after all. Dallas loves bigger, faster and often more expensive, all of which the bullet train promises to be.
Big D also is one of the locations being proposed for a levitating pod transport. The California company, called Hyperloop One, is proposing 640 miles of tube in Texas, connecting Laredo to Dallas up I-35 and extending a branch to Houston from San Antonio. Think of that tube where your mom used to put deposit slips at the bank, only these are the size of a shipping container. The loop would make the trip from Dallas to Austin just 19 minutes, with travelers flying through the tubes at 700 mph. So much for taking in the scenery.
Lastly, Dallas is one of the three cities where flying Uber will make its debut. This collaboration between Uber and NASA is a cross between a helicopter and plane that takes off vertically from the tops of tall buildings, getting you to that meeting or date in a fraction of the time, floating above all the slaps below stuck in traffic. The vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, called VTOLs, will be battery-powered and completely electric, allowing them to be cleaner and quieter than your average billionaire’s helicopter. Uber released a snazzy video with shots of the Dallas area, as Ross Perot’s Hillwood company agreed to build something called a vertiport for these flying cars on a few of its buildings. No telling what the rates will be, but the VTOLs will be driverless, which will only be a little more worrying than a talkative Uber driver.
All this sped-up travel could damage the burgeoning podcast industry, as no one will have any time to listen to amateur true-crime investigators when we are all whizzing around at unnatural speeds.