The Texas Department of Transportation these days sounds like it's watched too many episodes of 'The Jetsons.'
In addition to mundane things like highways and bridges, the state's transportation planners have begun looking into hovercraft, driverless vehicles, drones, and even jet packs.
"Is this jet pack thing that we have all seen on cartoons over the years something that might really be usable?" TxDot's Joe Barton told Newsradio 1200 WOAI.
Barton says the idea is to make sure Texas is ahead of the game when new forms of transportation which are now just in the fantasy stage start coming true.
"What will transportation look like in the year 2050 or even in 2100, and what do we need to do today to be prepared for that," Barton said.
Anybody who has sat in traffic on US 281 knows just how long it takes to get a major transportation project off the ground, so to speak, these days. Barton says unless Texas starts thinking about this now, the state risks being left behind in cutting edge transportation.
He says the major advances aren’t that far off. Google plans to put driverless cars on English roadways next year, and Amazon continues investigating the idea of making deliveries via drone.
Barton says all of these advances will require regulations, as well as infrastructure to make them work.
After all, what should the speed limit be for Elroy to fly his spacecraft to school?