Top Ten Personal Transportation Devices From Science Fiction

10) Teleportation Device
These are available in many different forms, but are often belts or bracelets. Although the device itself is portable, there is usually some kind of base station which sends and receives those wishing to travel. The device itself is usually some kind of tracking device, although in some cases the belt/ring/snood contains some active teleporting technology. Now, teleporting is pretty cool most of the time, but I can’t help thinking it really tickles. Imagine trying to scratch an itch that’s inside you? (keep it clean!) Also, imagine teleporting and something embarrassing happens, like you arrive several centimetres above the floor, then drop and stumble, or worse arrive several centimetres below the floor and your feet fall off. Not good. Ok, it’s quick and convenient, but there’s the whole base station thing and the embarrassment to deal with.

9) Batmobile
The Batmobile is a strange name when you think about it. Bats are already mobile, and they never actually drive the car. It should have been called the Batmanmobile, but I suppose it was a simpler time back then. Anyway, the Batmobile, and other superhero cars of a similar nature, is cool straight away. It’s shiny black, has flames, guns, and bulletproof glass. In many versions it also folds up, turns into a submarine/motorbike/ice cream van, and has loads of devices that fold out of impossible spaces and go ‘chung’ and ‘vuuuuur’.
The drawbacks are many, including high maintenance costs, spares are difficult to find, and I imagine fuel economy is right out the window. On top of that it’s not road legal, as no insurance company would touch it, therefore Batman is breaking the law by driving an uninsured vehicle.

8) Intra and Extra-Atmospheric Winged Plane-Type Vehicle (Usually With Guns)
I.E.W.P.V.(U.W.G.) appear in many films. The X-Wing fighters in Starwars and those things in Stargate are just two examples. They are the the Ford Fiesta or the VW Golf of the future SF world. They are cheap, mass produced, easy to drive and maintain, plenty of spares available and come with optional blasters or plasma cannons. There are thousands of after-market products to personalise them with, and almost every planet and large moon has a fan club, with regular meetings and shows with prizes. They do have a bit of a boy-racer reputation, but they’re actually a good, solid product, perfect as a first spacecraft, with the added ability to take out deathstars. (This might invalidate the warranty, so check with the manufacturer first.)

7) Vehicles That Have Huge Fans
I’m not talking about those vehicles that have a large fan-base, like Ferrari, nor those ones that actually have physically large admirers, but those that are moved by being propelled by large rotating blades. Most of them are airborne, but some are ground based, some hovercraft types. The fans usually fall into two categories, either they’re quiet, or they’re very noisy. (Some of these vehicles have no downdraft whatsoever, how they manage that I don’t know. Silly Hollywood.)
These vehicles are a recent development for the most part, as seen in Avatar, Avengers et al, planes with several fans used to keep them off the ground. At first glance they appear cool, and eco-friendly, but that downdraft and the power required to turn the fans soon reveals their down side. These things would pretty much only work in fiction.

6) Hover car
These things have been around a long time in SF, but probably appeared in the highest numbers in The Fifth Element. Some of these vehicles hover just off the ground, which to me is a proper hover car, some are more like planes, ‘flying’ at all altitudes. How they hover is often left to the imagination, but some admit to having anti-gravity technology, mag-lev, or some other theoretical propulsion system. The idea behind such vehicles is of course the ability to avoid traffic jams. This falls apart if everyone has a hovercar, as the air would be filled with such vehicles. As many humans can’t drive safely in two dimensions, giving them a third is a recipe for disaster.
Still, it would give you a smooth ride, you could cross water without a bridge, and it would look seriously cool, especially if you were the first on the street to have one.

5) Jet/Rocket Pack
Mankind has been dreaming about such things for a long time. What could be better than strapping a rocket or jet engine to your back and just flying off into the sky, free as a bird? Of all the vehicles here, these ones do actually exist, although flight times are around twenty minutes due to fuel constraints. That’s not much more distance than a quick bus ride, although you wouldn’t have to sit next to someone who smelled of chips/cannabis/wee.
The next consideration is rocket or jet, depending on how fast you want to go and how much money you have. ( recommends the BakJet 300sl for it’s balance of economy, speed and low strapage time, which is how long it takes to put on if your lair is overrun by government forces.)

4) Speeder Bike
As seen dodging, or not, the trees on the forested moon of Endor, speeder bikes are the futuristic version of motorbikes, but a lot more dangerous, particularly when driven at stupid miles an hour around a bunch of trees. (never, ever, hit a tree in a normal vehicle.) In more open terrain, and with a little more restraint on the throttle, they’re a simple and low priced alternative to a land speeder, perfect for a trip to the coast, an afternoon feeding Sarlacc, or popping out for a minute to slaughter a tribe of sand people. Luggage space is limited, and they’re ridiculously easy to steal, but they’re cool and low maintenance, and easy to store.

3) At-St
The All Terrain Scout Transport, scout walker, or chicken walker if you prefer, is a personal transporter from the Starwars universe. First seen in the Empire Strikes Back, they are lightly armoured two person vehicles, which walk on two legs. They have enough head room for a wookie, and are so easy to drive an Ewok can do it. Luggage space is average, but speed is an issue. Despite their name, they aren’t that good in forests, and tend to explode catastrophically when hit with heavy blaster fire.
Their cool rating is very high, but they’re more for impressing the locals with a walk around the village than a serious form of transport. They also devalue very quickly, second-hand ones going for only a handful of Republic credits.

2) Robotic Creature
To qualify for this category, the vehicle must be at least partly A.I, not just a self-driving car for instance. In other words, when you get out of the vehicle, it can follow you around, carry your shopping and annihilate your enemies with its built-in weapons. It might also like to talk about growing fruit trees/60s tv/the use of colour as a metaphor, depending on its interests.
For some reason, many of these vehicles are arachnids, insects, or crustaceans, not the kind of creature normally associated with carrying passengers, but certainly high on the cool list. Personally I’d go for a robot tiger, I’d call it Jennifer and ride it bareback. (What?)

1) Tardis
The tardis, or T.A.R.D.I.S or Time And Relative Dimension In Space, is Dr Who’s own personal transport. It’s the Winnebago of time travel, a complete home away from home in every sense. This is not just a holiday home, the Tardis has everything the good doctor owns, including that junk space he can’t be bothered to tidy, several missing companions, and that stupid robot dog. He has everything he needs in one tiny package; home, transport, and office all rolled into one. Unlike most time machines, this one also moves in space, so he can go anywhere and any when he likes.
The main problem with it is the maintenance, the constant supply of sonic screwdrivers isn’t cheap, and it seems to break down at the most dramatic moments.