Tag Archives: jetpacks

Where’s my jetpack?

From page 24 of Traffic In Towns, the 1963 Buchanan Report to the Minister of Transport:

The future of the motor vehicle

[…] it would be foolish to embark upon drastic and expensive alterations to towns to accommodate motor traffic if there were any serious doubt as to its continuance as a means of transport.

The possibility most usually canvassed is that within a measurable time some kind of individual jet-propulsion unit will be developed, of which a rudimentary form has already been tried out in the U.S.A. for military use.  This may well come about, but the problems of weather, navigation, air-space and traffic control appear so formidable that it may be questioned whether such a device would ever be practical for mass use, for either freight or passengers, in the crowded conditions of the modern city.  One only has to think of the rush-hour conditions in any large city to realise what would be involved.

The history of transport is a history of revolutions — cart horses on tracks, narrow boats on canals, steam engines on rails, and cars on roads.  I guess in the 1960s, era of progress, revolution, and invention, it was obvious that this periodic replacement of one technology by another would go on forever.

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