Humans have walked on the face of this Earth since they came into being. We have climbed the highest peak, walked great distances across open plains and crossed oceans in the quest for our very survival. Our legs were the mode of transport in most cases. Our legs did all the walking. We were in fact built to carry ourselves and walk a lot. Today we walk only when we need to get some exercise. We are also spending most of our time sitting indoors within our closely confined cubicles. Is this healthy? Are we forcing ourselves to hide from the sun? Vitamin D deficiency is very prevalent in the northern hemisphere due to inadequate sun exposure.
Probably we got tired of walking at some point due to its monotonous, lonely and boring nature. Someone had decided to envision the wheel and put it into action. That set the wheel rolling from there to the ones we see today in race cars, airplanes and in our super-fast trains. Horse drawn carriages were the norm back then, today it’s literally going extinct from the streets as each day passes. Wheels which have been transporting us since that time, comes in all sizes, shapes and forms in terms of design and luxury. It definitely has helped us in moving forward shaving many hours of travel time between destinations.
Today we have trucks, cars, motorbikes, bicycles, scooters, mopeds, rickshaws, buses, and trains to transport us and crisscross across the land using Wheels. Planes do have wheels for takeoffs and landings. Within these massive ships there are many wheels to propel them forward. As technology improves or new technologies arrive, we may not need wheels at all. Magnetism may play a major role in propelling us through a magnetic field in the near future. As long as there is no friction between the moving parts, we can move at break-neck speeds.
Now, Let’s explore what we are seeing different today when compared to when we had started way back then. This will give us a sense of what efforts have we put in to change the basic concept of our existing infrastructure. In my view we have not moved forward in anyway other than modifying the initial blue pint to be modern looking, attractive, enticing and incorporating current technology into it to be appealing to the masses. We have been literally beating around the bush and going in circles with the same age old infrastructure. Like the saying: If something works, let’s not fix it. So we are reluctant to put money into a project that may help us shoot for the stars verses the ideology that money is already being made with the current mode of transportation, so lets modify it on the outside to look pretty and leave the old fundamental concepts alone. This won’t cost us that much. With this mindset we will be only chasing our tails with no scope of moving to the next level of hi-tech transportation.
Let’s look at the basic skeleton of the cars, planes, trucks, ships and buses that we see today. Now compare this with the ones which were functioning at that time back then. Let’s work our way out from within them. What do we see? The mechanics seem to be quite comparable to our modern times. The changes which stand out are: The efficiency of the engine, mileage, quality machinery, newer modifications, stronger and durable materials, light weight etc etc. The cars we see today still has the same basic chassis, drive train, transmission, brakes, engine and four drums carrying the tires. The same applies to buses and trucks. Ships and planes have the exact same skeleton. So you get the point.
Now comes the tires. Tires have no wonder come a long way in terms of durability and performance. Without tires we are going no where, both on road and off road. Back then carts had wooden wheels with an outside metal ring around its perimeter which in turn made contact with the road. Forget about the suspension. Fast forward to today we have made enormous progress in terms of technology, and comfort. We have turned our attention from getting from point A to point B, to travelling in style, displaying our financial status, enjoying the comforts of travel and in moving faster than ever. We have broken the sound barrier using supersonic jets and beaten records for land travel. The efficiency of our engines have increased exponentially.
With transportation comes pollution. We are relying 100 % on fossil fuels for the past 100 years. We are still reluctant to switch to, solar power, wind power, wave power, battery technology and even mechanical to electrical conversion of power systems. In major metros, we have created so much pollution that we have seen massive spikes in respiratory illness, cancer and other related illnesses. What are we going to do about it? We have not yet talked about automotive related waster disposal and bio-degradation of our environment. Are we going to use bicycles instead? Maybe. or are we going to use what nature is giving us in plenty every single day- solar and wind power verses burning fossil fuels 24/7 365 days a year until we choke to death from the pollutants. We don’t have much choice. We must be making the decision NOW rather than later, when all is said and done.
We are now travelling faster and faster when compared to our grandparents. Now what? Are we looking to to the skies to propel ourselves out into other galaxies? Or are we going to tunnel our way towards our Planet’s core? With or without wheels, as Humans we will beat the odds in achieving anything we put our mind to.
Remember it all started with the wheel. My prediction for the future is that we will be traveling Wheel LESS very soon. It may be arriving at a showroom near you.