15 Things That Won’t Be Around By 2040

As technology and the world changes, there are many things that begin to fade away. These are the relics of the past and they create a sense of nostalgia for some of us whenever we stumble upon these. However that is it.

We know these things are rare, but they aren’t needed. They’ve been replaced with something better and shiner.

As we enter the new year and new decade, below are some predictions that we have about certain things that’ll meet this fate. We believe these things will be relics of the past by 2040 or sooner.



This one is less outlandish for those keeping up with technology trends. Right now many people are debating about when this will happen as opposed to whether it’ll happen or not. For those not in the loop, several companies have been looking to create autonomous vehicles.

Ford is developing one with the hopes of it launching by 2021.

Volvo and Tesla already have these vehicles out.

BMW and Daimler are wanting to release their by 2024.

While replacing all the vehicles on the road into autonomous cars will take decades, it’s still likely that more and more people will be able to purchase autonomous cars. After all, we already have some cars able to be somewhat autonomous.




Drivers aren’t the only aspects that will fade out of existence. What’s also going to stop is traffic in general. Yes, there will still be cars on the roads, but there are big differences between a human driving and robots driving.

Not to bash on mankind, but robots are programmed to be better drivers than humans. After all, traffic jams and accidents are primarily caused by humans.

That’s not to say that there will never be a traffic jam ever again, but they’re going to be significantly reduced when we will have autonomous vehicles.



Credit & Debit Cards

It sounds crazy at the moment. These pieces of plastic right next to your driver’s license are used all of the time. These are the most important things in your wallet. But I think these will eventually cease to exist if you pay attention to how people are paying now.

I mean sure, most people are pulling out a debit or credit card. But occasionally you see someone using Apple Pay. Some people pay for online goods through PayPal or Google Pay. Other companies like Venmo and Zelle are also growing in popularity.

These are all solid options because they are more secure. There are authentication, monitoring, and data encryption, whereas plastic cards lack that. The speed and convenience is also nice.




First plastic cards and now smartphones?! Are you insane?! Well, hold on a second there.

While eight out of ten American’s do have smartphones now, there are some things worth considering. These tools right now are very helpful. They’re basically mini computers in your pockets. They’re extremely helpful, but they’re not as convenient as they appear.

While older phones are smaller and more compact, the latest smartphones are easily a quarter the size of a tablet by now. They’re huge, clunky, and can be hard on your eyes and fingers.

People are noticing this, so over the next few decades we could see shifts in how we communicate and perform those tasks. We might go down the route of wearable devices. We already see that with Apple Watches.




This might come as a shock, but we’re also kind of accustomed to this already. For homeowners, they don’t want to carry around keys and have switched over to electronic door locks. Instead of having a physical key that could get lost and is a pain to copy, you’ve just got to remember a passcode.

We can even go further than that and look at hotel rooms who have switched from keys to cards (or in some cases phones).

We even have vehicles that are keyless or require a push of a button with your keys nearby.

Because we are slowly replacing keys with other things, it makes sense for this technology to fade soon enough.



Cable TV

Cable is slowly becoming a relic already and it’s tough to keep up with it. Cable packages are often higher priced and struggle to provide good service. These two reasons alone are why people aren’t excited about this anymore.

Instead, people are turning to subscription based products. There’s the new Disney+ along with Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. There’s plenty of options and these companies seem to know what they’re doing.




As much as people wish to have more privacy, our behaviours aren’t exactly reflecting that. In larger cities, we’ve got cameras that are monitoring every street corner. We’ve filled our homes with cameras and voice assistants who are extracting data and personal information.

Even the use of biometrics like facial recognition are growing in popularity despite the information those technologies take from us.

As much as we want to be private, we’re living in an age where digital profiling is the norm. Not only that, but people are thankful for the personalized engagement that technology and companies bring to them.

Because people want further connection, there’s going to be less and less privacy in the world.




If privacy is completely abolished by 2040, there is good odds that passwords will be too. It sounds unusual now, since we use so many passwords for the sites we visit. However people are realizing the problem with passwords.

From people who are using passwords poorly, it makes sense people are pushing for other means of authentication. After all, passwords are powerful and the weak passwords are often the cause for the viruses and breaches we’ve had over the years.

Instead, people will be looking for other means and we are starting to see that already. Things like eye scans or face recognition or using a physical security authentication key are being looked at.



Remote Controls

Another thing that is likely to fade away is the remote. We’ve used these things for decades, but we can start to see subtle shifts in the technology. These days, up to date remotes have voice recognition to them.

It’s not going to take much time before we’re able to talk to our TV the same way we talk to our voice assistants and phones.



Charging Cables

With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology it’s easier for us to connect devices to one another and to the internet. This web of interconnectivity is one of the reasons for why people have less use for cables.

The only problem today with cords is that if you need to charge a device, you’re going to need those cables for charging. That being said, in 20 years there is good odds that we’ll create wireless chargers. We’ve already gone wireless for some of the common tech after all.



Plastic Bags

One thing I’m sure many people will be happy about is the removal of plastic bags. These days they are causing a lot of environmental issues. Not only that, but they are a huge mess already as they are often discarded and are left to clog up streets, sidewalks, and more.

Because of these rising issues, cities and countries have started to ban these or place restrictions. While people have questioned how effective these practices are, there is still a huge push to handle these and for people to look for plastic alternatives.



Physical Banks

While we still need a bank, we might not need a physical bank. These days a good portion of us check our accounts through an app or online. It’s only once in a while do we actually go to a physical bank.

Because of these behaviours, it makes sense for banks to start closing physical branches or downsizing. Some banks can have more creativity though and reinvent their branches too.



Checkout Counters & Cashiers

Amazon is one of the biggest businesses in the world that we continue to buy from. It is the trend setter and it has ushered a world where we no longer need to go to a physical store to shop.

But whenever we go to the grocery store, we can already start to see changes in there too. Either a small or a large section of the checkout section is all self-checkout.

Because of these aspects, people can expect changes in several stores over the next few decades. After all, Amazon Go is already quite the hit and if other stores follow suit with that technology, it’s certainly possible to see this shift.




There are a lot of farms across the globe, but as the population grows, the fields have become smaller and smaller. Between 1992 and 2012, America lost 31 million acres to development. It’s equivalent to losing most of Iowa or New York.

As more development occurs, it’s likely to see less farm land and need for farmers. Instead, we might focus on different ways to grow crops. It’s possible to imagine massive warehouses where food is grown vertically under artificial lights and harvested via robots.




What’s even more dangerous is the growing concern of climate change. We’ve known for years now that climate change is slowly eroding our environment. One of the reasons we turn to is looking at the glaciers, which have been melting.

At the rate that climate change is going, there is a good chance that we’ll be out of glaciers by 2040. That much is possible when you consider that Greenland has lost 12.5 billion tones of ice in a single day. Furthermore Iceland has lost their first glacier in 2019 called Okjökull.