The year is 2100. You exit your Hyperloop after a 5-minute journey from Oxford to London, walk towards the vertiport and board the autonomous air-taxi. You have an unobstructed view of the London Eye, the sky and the River Thames are blue. No more images of smokestacks nor beeping of horns that now belong in the annals of history e-books.
Transportation has always been fundamental to a utopian urban scape where new technology has enabled. However, we are now entering an era of technology with a purpose: to mitigate climate change. Anthropogenic carbon emissions contribute a sizable percentage (16%) from transport, and the remainder industrial and residential use cases. When we consider the path to decarbonizing transportation, reliance on hydrocarbons as the energy source and carrier are key. Synergies are essential between stationary, green energy production, distribution, and end-use in mobility applications.
Dr Anita Sengupta is an aerospace engineer, instrument rated pilot, rocket scientist, and veteran of the space program. Her career began with launch vehicles and communication satellites at Boeing Space and Communications. She then worked for NASA for 16 years where her engineering projects included developing the ion propulsion system for the Dawn Mission and the supersonic parachute that landed the Curiosity rover on Mars.