Technology advancement has transformed almost all sectors, including urban transportation. Because of that, commuters are wondering what the future of transportation looks like. What they don’t know is that their roads and skies will change a lot.
Imagine pods moving passengers at 600 mph, flying taxis, and other transformative ideas in the pipeline. In fact, some are already in the design phase, others are being tested, and still, others are a few regulatory steps away from becoming a reality. Everyone anticipates the time when driverless cars will become mainstream.
The article will tell you about emerging technology trends and the expected societal changes that will accompany them.
A Foretaste of the Future of Transportation
Indeed innovations in the transportation sector will improve people’s lives by reducing anxiety, stress, death, and costs. Because of that, engineers are working on the following transportation innovations.
1. Delivery Drones
Drones are presently delivering essential health supplies in remote areas of underserved and indigenous communities. It’s estimated that nearly half of the earth’s population has limited access to healthcare. The certification of medical delivery drones hopes to change the situation as we advance.
Drones are unmanned aircraft vehicles that fly long distances across dangerous terrains to deliver diagnostic kits, vaccines, medication, blood, and other samples. It’s hoped that authorities will approve the use of drones for full-scale commercial deliveries.
2. Driverless Cars
Although there is a lot of consumer hesitation toward driverless cars, the technology is at the moment in the testing phase, but concerns about regulations and safety cause this pushback.
Tesla, Audi, Uber, and Volkswagen have dived into the driverless car space and are already making headlines. The reason for this technology is because of increased cases of distracted driving, causing deaths on most roads. The use of robots instead of humans to operate vehicles is expected to reduce collisions and fatalities due to speeding incidents.
Cost, privacy concerns, legal ramifications, ethical questions, and much more are part of the barrier to driverless cars.
3. Flying Taxis
An estimate of 200 companies is prototyping the aerial mode of transportation. They’re working on eVTOLS for different uses, including personal recreational aircraft, urban air taxis, and much more. It’s hoped that these flying taxis will offer reasonably priced, safe rides that don’t disturb people on the ground below.
Regulations and costs are some factors that are slowing the launch of flying taxis. The present market trends hinder the manufacturing of safe, durable aircraft at a reasonable cost. Further, getting regulatory approval from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is a long process.
4. Maglev Trains
These are high-speed trains that travel at high speeds with less vibration and noise, unlike the traditional trains. They have lower chances of encountering delays due to mechanics or weather due to the dip in friction and vibration.
These trains are good for the environment because they’re not powered by fossil fuels. There are six commercial maglev systems across the world. Three are in China, two in South Korea, and one in Japan. Additional ones are expected in other continents, including the US.
5. Underground Roads
This is a futuristic vision aimed at solving infrastructure issues in major cities. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, is the person behind the underground roadways idea. The reason is that underground roads are more weather-proof, eliminate congestion, and speed up the transport of people and goods.
As a result, companies have started thinking about systems for tunnels to support underground roadways. This includes how to lower cars underground, transporting them to other destinations at high speeds. The underground tunnel is expected to run on a metal trolley-like platform which is quick and cost-effective.
Elon Musk coined the term to describe the modern open-source project of high-speed transportation systems. Major cities in Asia and Europe have high-speed bullet trains, which take 2.5 hours to move people between cities. The hyperloop concept will shorten this time to under 45 minutes because the total speed will be 760 mph.
With this technology, people will live and work in different cities, as well as reduce congestion and pollution. This concept is simple because the hyperloop will go incredibly fast due to the lack of friction between the tube-shaped track and pods carrying passengers.
7. Smart Roads
The majority of transportation technologies target vehicles. That means they introduce better vessels than what is available in the market. Smarter highways are also important because the sensors alert commuters when a crash occurs along their route so that they can opt for an alternative road instead of being stuck on the road for several hours.
Smart roads are aimed at reducing road congestion and increasing travel speed. However, studding all highways with sensors is a huge development cost, and the systems are still unproven.
Reasons for the Evolution in the Transportation Sector
These transportation innovations are triggered by advancements in technology and humanitarian challenges across the globe. In fact, these advancements are so attractive to companies and cities as well due to climate change, overcrowding, and wealth inequality. But there are many logistical and regulatory challenges facing these new ideas.
These transportation innovations hope to accomplish the following in the future:
Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The industry wants to change the world by providing cleaner solutions that utilize renewable energy alternatives instead of gasoline and limit carbon emissions.
Road Congestion: Engineers in transportation technology are tasked with the responsibility of reducing congestion by creating alternatives to traditional roads. This is because almost all cities have maxed out their road infrastructures, yet their population and the number of cars increase each year.
Fatalities and Accidents: Today’s drivers experience a lot of distractions than years before. As a result, many people are killed in car crashes globally due to distracted driving, speeding, and much more. These new technologies are geared toward introducing safer ways to travel.
Commuter Time: People spend many hours on the road due to traffic congestion and distances between cities. The time spent on the road can be put to more productive use when these emerging transportation technologies begin operation. They will make travel quicker, cost-effective, efficient, and safer because of the high speeds.
Security: Most terrorism activities target transportation vessels. Because of that, engineers are expected to learn and develop solutions for the new security risks linked to technology like flying drones. If done properly, they will be secure and faster.
Income Inequalities: These new transportation technologies are expected to be affordable, thus bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. That means all people will be able to get to work safely and efficiently irrespective of their income.
These new transportation technologies are exciting because they will reduce the amount of time people spend on the road and the travel cost. However, they have their own share of uncertainty, and fears will ease with time as they gain regulator approval.
Creators of flying taxis, driverless cars, underground tunnels, and high-speed trains are expected to identify all risks associated with them and come up with solutions to mitigate them in order to reduce consumer hesitation linked to questions around regulations and safety.
Auto insurance companies are also expected to develop solutions to protect these transportation investments in order to make them financially secure and safer.