In the not too distant future, you will book a flight with your favorite airline and transportation to the airport will be automatically included in your itinerary. When you book your flight an autonomous driving vehicle will be scheduled to pick you up at home, at work, or wherever, and deliver you directly to your terminal at the airport. You will get a notification on your smartphone when your driverless car will pick you up.
Because your self-driving vehicle is owned by the airline, all check-in requirements will be taken care of during your ride to the airport. When you open the trunk and put your bags in, sensors will automatically scan your luggage for unauthorized items and identify them as to checked baggage or carry-on. Attendants will be notified in advance as to the status of your luggage and will be waiting to take your checked items upon arrival. The interior of the vehicle will be TSA approved. Upon entering the self-driving shuttle a complete body scan will be performed similar to current airport security check-in procedures. Also, a facial recognition scan will verify your identity. Once your identity is verified, a message will be sent to your smartphone authorizing you and your vehicle to enter the airport. Upon arrival at the airport there will be no need for you to go to check-in or security. Your shuttle will drop you at your airline’s terminal where you will go directly to your gate and board your flight. It will then leave and pick up another customer.
And perhaps somewhere the other side of the not too distant future airports may even be designed without terminals. Think about it. All of the check-in and security procedures have been taken care of before you get to the airport. So, instead of dropping you off at the terminal and making you walk a mile to your gate, why not do away with the terminal and just have “gate-pods”. Your self-driving shuttle will stop at your gate-pod, you’ll walk through the door, walk down the boarding ramp, and board your flight.
Then again, perhaps your autonomous driving vehicle will be your autonomous flying vehicle!