Here are the 5 biggest innovations to expect in 2023
We can be just 23 years into the century, but already it was a doozy. In 2022, we have seen impressive technological feats, including a breakthrough in fusion energy, the first successful test of an all-electric passenger plane, and the release of bivalent Covid-19 booster vaccines.
As we enter 2023, what can we expect? To Reversewe’re not in the business of clairvoyance, but the innovations we’ve seen over the past 12 months can help us predict what might be in store for next – from driverless transportation to commercial space exploration in through (finally) clean energy for all
5. Cheaper electric vehicles and driverless delivery
This year will usher in more affordable electric vehicles, allowing more of the population to drive sustainably. For example, GM is rolling out cheaper models that cost around $30,000, expanding choices for drivers on a budget. Tesla’s cheapest offering, the Model 3, starts at around $46,990 – while it’s currently the best-selling electric car in the US, some of these new models could knock the Model 3 off its mark throne.
If you don’t feel like driving, it may soon be easier to flag down a self-driving car. In 2023, Uber plans to launch a completely driverless service, and GM’s robotaxi division (which now operates in San Francisco, Phoenix and Austin) aims to enter a “large number of markets”.
Cars aren’t the only means of transportation to let drivers down. Self-driving tractor-trailers could leap forward in 2023 and, soon enough, change the way we get our goods forever.
In the coming months, self-driving trucks are expected to hit Texas highways. Companies like Aurora Innovation and TuSimple will start testing their wheels without any human backup riders — something that has some safety advocates concerned, Reuters reported. Driverless tractor-trailers have already been tested in Arizona and Arkansas, but Texas is particularly attractive to self-driving truck companies looking to set up hubs because it sits in the middle of one of the freight routes. the most popular in the country.
4. Firsts in the commercial space
Just like in 2022, space tycoons are still shooting towards the Moon. But before SpaceX can undertake lunar landings, it must send Starship on its first orbital test flight. Chris Impey, professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona, thinks this is the year. SpaceX “will have its first successful orbital flight of the Starship, a breakthrough rocket with the goal of getting astronauts to the Moon and Mars within a decade,” he said. Reverse.
Although it may be a few years before people set foot on the Moon again, unmanned commercial landers could touch down within months. In December, the Japanese firm ispace launched a lunar lander which should land in March. If things work out, ispace will become the first private company to land on the Moon, that is, if it’s not beaten by landers from US companies Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines, which are expected to arrive at around the same moment.
In another win for private space, SpaceX’s Polaris Dawn mission could accomplish the first-ever commercial spacewalk. It is expected to take off no earlier than March 2023 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Four passengers, including billionaire Jared Isaacman, the mission’s founder, will travel to a maximum orbit of about 745 miles above Earth – the highest of any crewed vehicle since the Apollo missions.
Polaris Dawn will also offer crucial data to scientists in the field: for example, astronauts will wear smart contact lenses with tiny sensors that measure eye pressure in microgravity (past NASA missions have revealed that space travel affects the people’s view). They will also receive a brain scan just hours after landing on Earth to examine the impact of microgravity on the brain.
Another potential breakthrough: The first methane-powered rocket could reach space this year if United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket successfully completes its first orbital test (which was originally scheduled for 2020). Methane is more stable than the liquid hydrogen that powers most rockets today. It can also be stored at more moderate temperatures than the super cold temperatures required for liquid hydrogen. In fact, astronauts could even make methane on their return trip to Mars.
3. US wind farms take off
Bringing offshore wind to the US hasn’t exactly been a breeze, but this year wind power may finally have its moment: energy company Avangrid Renewables plans to bring the first wind project online commercial-scale offshore in 2023. Its Vineyard Wind 1 project, which sits more than 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, will deliver 800 megawatts of capacity. Many other wind farms are in the works, including potential projects off the coasts of California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia.
We can also expect a huge victory for nuclear energy. Nuclear waste management company Posiva will begin operating the world’s first nuclear fuel storage facility at Olkiluoto, an island off the coast of Finland. The facility will contain up to approximately 7,000 tons of radioactive uranium, which will be placed in copper containers and buried more than 1,300 feet underground. Luckily for the people living above, the waste will remain guarded for millennia.
2. Another look at virtual reality
If 2022 was the year Metaverse failed, 2023 could herald its return – and improvements in VR and AR technology as a whole.
“I think we’ll see the continued refinement of virtual reality technology,” said Christopher Ball, assistant professor of augmented and virtual reality at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Reverse.
The Meta Quest 3 headset will be announced later this year, and it will likely be more affordable than the Meta Quest Pro. But the new Quest might contain some advanced features now found exclusively in the Meta Quest Pro, according to Ball.
He also predicts that virtual reality companies could focus less on gaming and step up promotion of other uses to consumers, such as working from home, exercising and socializing. For example, the recent partnership between Meta and Microsoft will bring Office 365 applications to virtual reality. And Meta is currently trying to buy Within, a virtual reality company with a popular exercise app called Supernatural — against the wishes of the FTC.
This fall, Tim Cook announced that Apple will offer augmented reality products. In the coming year, Ball hopes Cook will release more details.
“Hopefully we’ll also learn more about Apple’s long-gestating mixed reality headset. Apple has a strong track record of refining consumer technologies through better software integration,” says Ball. , many observers are eagerly awaiting Apple’s entry into the mixed reality space as they could pioneer extended reality technology and software over the next decade.”
1. A biotech breakthrough could go mainstream
After the miraculous success of Covid-19 mRNA vaccines from BioNTech and other pharma giants, scientists have redoubled their efforts to develop more mRNA bites to protect against a range of life-threatening diseases. In 2023, BioNTech plans to begin human trials for vaccines against tuberculosis, malaria and genital herpes, as reported Nature.
Another hot technology may make inroads this year. Swiss-American biotech company CRISPR Therapeutics could make history by receiving the first-ever regulatory approval for a CRISPR gene-editing therapy in the United States and Europe. CRISPR Therapeutics is seeking FDA approval for a treatment for two genetic blood diseases – sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. If all goes well, it could even hit the market in the coming months.
the Reverse analysis – Of course, it’s unclear exactly how 2023 will pan out. But if the past few years are any indication, developments that have been in the works for decades may finally be starting to take off. After all, scientists have managed to bombard hydrogen with lasers long enough to create mystical fusion energy.