How Will Travel Change in the Next Decade?

Driverless cars, 'super elite" fliers, and more rail for everyone; these are among the predictions from experts for how travel in the United States will change over the next decade.
November 30, 2012, 7am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Thom Patterson reports on the expected ways in which America's traveling landscape will change over the next decade. On the roads, "we'll see amazing technological strides in the development of self-driving cars during the next decade. But America's roads and bridges will continue to suffer from much needed repairs, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers."

In the skies, "Expect more air passengers to demand Wi-Fi and personalized entertainment choices in the coming years. Airlines may provide access to movies stored on a digital media server aboard the aircraft, or, a third-party website where passengers can watch video now or later after they de-plane." But a "race to the bottom" in search of profits may create "two types of fliers: the 'haves' -- 'super-elite frequent fliers who get everything' -- and the 'have-nots' -- passengers in economy 'who get nothing,'" said airline analyst Mike Miller. Excuse us, but isn't this already the case?

Finally, more Americans will take advantage of improved rail service made possible by 2009's federal stimulus legislation, said transportation expert Yonah Freemark, who runs TransportPolitic.com. "Those investments are going to be built out and people are going to see better service on inter-city rail lines across the country," he said." And you'll see increasing ridership."

h/t Daniel Lippman

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Published on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 in CNN Travel
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