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Futurist Predictions in the World of Transportation

A Sydney Monorail is seen at Darling Harbour on March 23, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.

Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

As far as transportation goes, we've got it pretty good. We can get around the world pretty quickly, if we so choose; our ability to hop in a plane and fly across the globe certainly comes in handy for business trips or quickie vacations. Or, we can use alternate strategies, as journalist Seth Stevenson did: for his book "Grounded," he opted to wind his way around the planet without using air travel. Along the way, he mused about the ways that transportation has evolved, and how our travel choices impact humanity. (Heavy topics, but he had plenty of time -- the trip took several months.)

Though Stevenson stayed pretty traditional and old-school, that approach, to many, seems outdated. We have to travel, right? So it should always be improved as much as possible. Faster, more efficient or more fun. Or maybe, in really rare cases, we can try something completely new.

Clearly, the concept of "futuristic modes of transport" leaves a lot of room for interpretation. The following list encompasses quite a range. Some fell sadly short of their potential. Others, we're still hoping the promises will come to fruition.

(And if you ever end up on a trip, confined by some deathly dull mode of transport -- covered wagon, perhaps? -- you'd be lucky to have a copy of Stevenson's "Grounded" on-hand to pass the time.)

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