he movement of humans, whether between short distances or to different ends of the world, is reliant on efficient transportation. Most recently, you will have noticed that a variety of new and innovative modes of transportation have been discussed in the news, and for good reason.
There has been a global shift to not only faster travel but also travel that is safer for humans and the environment. Many companies have been exploring the possibility of doing both, for example, Elon Musk’s, ilimoww, Hyperloop concept.
Not since the invention of high-speed jet travel have we seen so many innovations happening in the field of transportation all at once. There have been tweaks and improvements, but in the next few years we could be living in a world we could only have imagined.
Below, we’ll take a look at a few of these innovations and what they could mean for the world as we know it.
Self-driving cars using improved GPS technology with a wide range of other safety features could be on the roads sooner than initially forecasted. This article by The Economist explains that a number of manufacturers such as Tesla, Delphi-Mobileye and NuTonomy believe that these cars and fleet vehicles capable of making independent decisions will be a reality before the end of the decade.
The fact that it’s already 2019 means that trials could be conducted during the year 2020 and if everything goes to plan, the first of these transportation innovations will be a reality. The driverless car would take some getting used to, and people surely wouldn’t want to relinquish control so soon, but it bodes well that significant steps have already been taken to put these plans into place.
Climate change is a reality for all the people of the world, and this is why increasing efforts have been made to attempt to reduce emissions and introduce more cost-effective, cleaner power alternatives. This is why the future of transportation also includes innovations to reduce our carbon footprint.
Electric vehicles that are automated and don’t burn fuel and pollutes the planet is a step forward in the right direction. This is why cities will see an uptick in electric public transportation services that help commuters get where they need to go efficiently. Sure, electric vehicles have already been introduced into the market, but forecasts show that this will grow exponentially and lead the way for more innovation.
More sustainable roads
Aside from the vehicles that use them, the way we construct and develop our roads is changing too – with more of a focus placed on long term durability and sustainability. One such technology is geocells.
Made from durable, recyclable materials which are not harmful to the environment, while allowing developers to make use of locally available granular material for infill (such as sand, soil, or recycled asphalt) rather than importing them, the environmental benefits are numerous. By using available, renewable resources, smart engineering is applied through geocell haul road design and construction, for highways and railways, the stabilization of channels and steep slopes, oil and gas exploration access roads, and a variety of other sectors.
Think of a world where not only cars are autonomous, but public transport such as airplanes using solar energy will be as well. The new Zephyr by Airbus recently completed the longest duration flight that lasted 25 days, 23 hours, and 57 minutes – and only using solar power.
The aircraft was unmanned but offers a glimpse into what the future could hold for global flights. By simply using the power of the sun, it could mean much cheaper air travel for all, connecting the world even more closely together than ever.
Greener Marine Transport
We’ve discussed air and land, but what about the sea? Efforts are being made to reduce CO2 emissions of cruise ships by up to 10% using renewables, and this is only the beginning. Pollution in the ocean has long since been an area of focus, and now there may be an answer to creating greener marine transport.
Renewable fuels such as biodiesel, biogas, hydrogen, liquefied natural gas, methanol and ethanol are all made use of in the quest to reduce emissions and it could be possible that this technology is simply added to existing vessels.
In short, the future of transportation and new innovations are closer than we think. What was once thought of as far away could be a global reality in a decade or two – showing that as humans we never stop expanding on what is possible!