Will your car will be driving you in 50 years? Will you 3D print a new jacket or bag at home, or see a cure for cancer happen in your lifetime? Or, do you think you'll be able to vacation on the moon?

Fluent surveyed 3,240 American adults about which inventions they think are most likely to occur in the next 50 years, and the results are interesting to say the least.

Most likely to happen?

Global WiFi coverage, say 54% of Americans, followed by self-driving cars being widely available and used. And right behind that, a medical technology that would save the lives of tens of millions globally: a cure for cancer.

Interestingly, some of the easier-looking items on the list are farther down, in terms of percentage of Americans who think they'll happen.

For instance, powering the entire planet with renewable resources within 50 years is doable, though not by any means guaranteed. California, for instance, plans to be fully renewable by 2045, and several countries are hitting 100% renewable for individual days or weeks.

Only 43% of Americans believe it's possibly, however. In fact, a recent study indicates that 139 countries could be 100% renewable by 2050.

On the other hand, while WiFi will be in plenty of places -- assuming the protocol still exists in 2067 -- it's unlikely to cover nature reserves. Or Antarctica for that matter. 

For human-like robots, Americans seem pretty in tune with what's possible. 36% say we'll see them within 50 years.

People do think self-driving cars are more likely to be widely available, but I'm surprised the number is not higher. Only 47% of Americans think they'll be widely available in 50 years, which is surprising given that multiple companies are working on the technology and we already see self-driving vehicles in limited tests on public streets.

That's shockingly low.

Fortunately, sanity prevails when it comes to magic like teleportation travel.

Star Trek and entangled particles aside, teleporting large masses of matter is more magic than science at this point. And only 12% of Americans think it will be doable by 2067.

Fluent surveyed 3,240 adults aged 18 and up in October this year, and says the respondents were randomly selected and data were weighted to US Census 2010 population distribution.

Published on: Nov 17, 2017