On the way to the airport, I sit in the back of my car reading my newspaper. It almost feels like a newspaper of old, appearing as it does on a foldable, flexible, digital device. My wife chats to her family using the onboard video conferencing facilities.
The journey is whisper quiet as the hydrogen fuel cell propels us effortlessly along the motorway. Without drama, a voice announces that we are five minutes away from the airport. I fold the paper 4 times until it is small enough to fit into my pocket.
As we approach the airport terminal, the sensors overhead automatically validate that we have the necessary travel documents and the voice inside the car asks us to confirm that no-one could have interfered with our bags and yes it was us that packed them. The safety video is played to us on our in car entertainment system. The RFID tags in our luggage are automatically registered and associated with our booking.
As we pull up outside the terminal, we disembark. An automaton retrieves our luggage from the back of the car before rumbling off on its merry way towards the aircraft hold. The car disappears to go and park itself and we know that the next time we see it will be just outside the arrivals hall when we return.
Before long, we are aboard the aircraft and trundling down the runway. My wife picks up where her conversation left off using the videoconferencing facilities onboard the aircraft. I unfold my newspaper once more and pick up where I left off. Without any request from us, an automaton appears with our choice of drinks and food before going off to serve someone else.
Travelling from England to Australia used to take near enough a full day, but nowadays it’s just a brief suborbital hop and we arrive in a couple of hours. The touchdown is smooth and before too long, we are disembarking. As we walk down the the air bridge, we are automatically scanned for contraband and our travel documents are checked. We head for the exit and find our way to the queue for transit onto our final destination.
On the way to the transit, an automaton carrying our luggage catches up with us. As we board the vehicle, our luggage is automatically stowed and we set off. No need to specify where we are going as the vehicle has already worked that out. After a short journey, during which we are automatically checked in, we pull up outside the hotel.
We walk straight in, as another mindless robot picks up our luggage before taking us straight to our room. As we tuck into some welcoming drinks, the robot packs our things away.
There’s nothing quite so relaxing as travelling from one side of the planet to the other.
- Upgraded…I wish ! (robertjhorton.wordpress.com)
- Make travelling comfortable by packing light luggage (tangence85.typepad.com)
- The Automatons (perfectdivine.com)
- Airport Haze (janchipchase.com)
Or possibly, the self driving car takes you down a road that is now closed off and because you didn’t notice while you were reading, you wait 20 minutes and miss your flight. The automatons accidentally send your luggage to Bermuda because other travellers with your same last name were going their, you get their luggage. The hotel doesn’t have your reservation because the intelligent agent asked you whether your dates were flexible (you didn’t realise the implications) and booked you for the next month and you didn’t notice.