flying car

British public anticipate flying cars and space tourism, but fears remain over zombie virus

Health implants and flying cars are high on the list of desirable future technologies, according to a new study conducted by a futurologist.

Dr Ian Pearson conducted the research in part to promote Electric Dreams, Channel 4’s new science-fiction series based around the works of sci-fi writer Philip K Dick.

Pearson identified technological advances expected over the next 50 years, and asked consumers which they were most excited by.

Forty per cent of those surveyed said they would like to see smart health implants become routine - so that ailments could be automatically detected and diagnosed, while 28 per cent said they want to see flying, driverless pods eventually replace cars.

In addition, advances including space tourism and holidays experienced through virtual reality were high in demand.

However, fears about some aspects of technology also remain.

Nearly a third of those surveyed (31 per cent) said they were worried about a future zombie-style virus, while robot armies and never-ending lives trapped in virtual bodies were also cited as concerns.

“Many of the things we take for granted today like instant mobile global communication at the touch of a button and computer networks which allow us to tap into the sum of all knowledge were once fanciful ideas of science fiction,” Dr Pearson said.

“Our human quest for innovation is relentless and we will continue to see a whole raft of developments as ideas that were once features of futuristic sci-fi books and TV series become not only a reality but an accepted part of our everyday lives.

“Philip K Dick was among those who were years ahead of his time in identifying the changes we would see and Channel 4’s new series Electric Dreams is a fascinating insight into his vision, his predictive powers and his incredible story-telling.”

Such is the willingness to embrace new innovations that even potentially invasive technologies such as thought recognition technology - similar to the thought police seen in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 - were backed by 23 per cent of those surveyed.

At least one innovation – flying cars - may not be too far away. Pre-orders for a flying car, set to launch in 2020, opened to the public in April for anyone who has $1m to spend on such a device. 

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