The world of travel is ever-changing. It’s only a matter of time before travelers will no longer have to dread inconveniences such as standing in long lines at airport security, losing a hotel room key, or the time-consuming process of booking a trip. That’s because technology continues to evolve at an increasingly breakneck pace, which in turn has led to new and exciting innovations being adopted and integrated into many different facets of travel.
In an article from Yahoo! Finance titled The Future of Travel: New tech coming in 2018, reporter Brittany Jones-Cooper highlights some of the technological advances poised to begin changing the way we travel before the year’s end. Three of the four advances included in the article are associated with airports, which in their current state undoubtedly leave much to be desired.
Mentioned first is CLEAR, a service offered by Delta Air Lines that allows Delta Sky Club members to use fingerprint scanners to gain access to airport lounges. Delta eventually intends to use this new technology at gates as well, where travelers will be able to scan their fingerprint in lieu of presenting a boarding pass. The article then goes on to describe a three-week trial that recently took place at Los Angeles International Airport, which evaluated how facial recognition technology similar to CLEAR could potentially expedite the infamously slow-moving security screening process.
In addition to having their fingers and faces scanned, airport goers can also expect to be shuttled around in driverless buses; that is, if all goes well during a six-week trial that will be taking place at London’s Gatwick Airport this summer. With an incident like the fatal accident involving an Uber self-driving car in Tempe, Arizona, still fresh in the public mind however, it’s unclear just how soon we’ll be seeing autonomous vehicles at airports stateside regardless of the trial’s findings.
Although the aforementioned article focuses mostly on technological advances capable of alleviating various airport-related inconveniences, it’s worth noting that travelers can also look forward to staying in hotel rooms outfitted with some serious upgrades of their own. These upgrades include new noise reduction systems designed to help guests achieve a more restful sleep, the ability to use smartphones as room keys, and even robotic staff, as demonstrated by Botlr, a robot bellhop at the Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, California, and Pepper, one of the newest employees at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas. With innovations like these just around the corner and many more on the horizon, it’s clear that the future of the travel industry is a bright one.