Transportation Technology: How Tech Is Changing the Mobility Landscape

January 20, 2020 |
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Transportation Technology: How Tech Is Changing the Mobility Landscape

Transportation technology is a driving force behind accessible and user-friendly mobility, and is fueling economic growth by supporting the development of cities, improving labor market accessibility, opening new markets for businesses, and enhancing supply chains. It is enabling intermodal smart mobility, and this is changing the mobility ecosystem in urban environments. E-scooters and shared bikes are everywhere, and cities are responding with dedicated lanes and improved transportation systems. 

Cities worldwide have a common goal: to provide greener and more efficient transportation options. New transportation modes, including Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) and autonomous flying cars, are the next technologies to dominate the mobility landscape. Read on to learn more about these trending transport innovations.

In this article:

  • What is transportation technology?

  • Benefits of transportation technology

  • New transportation technologies

Benefits of Advanced Transportation Technology

Both consumers and companies can benefit from the introduction of transportation technology. New transportation options mean fewer private cars on the roads and therefore fewer emissions and less traffic congestion. 

Benefits of transportation technology include:

  • Greener transportation—this can be achieved by reducing the use of private cars and opting for non-fossil fueled options. In addition, the introduction of new electric modes of transportation is helping to reduce emissions. 

  • Faster commuting—commuters now have more options to choose from when they embark on their daily journeys. This means they can opt for a shorter commute, which can lead to less congestion in road and highway traffic.

  • Improved safety—smart cars and autonomous vehicles now come equipped with applications that can help drivers get to their destination safely. These applications can, for example, send alerts that may prevent an accident.

Current and Future Transportation Technologies

Transportation technology is everywhere, from the proximity sensor in your car to the application on your phone that tells you when the bus is arriving.  

Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) 

Self-driving vehicles are already a reality in several cities. Autonomous cars will soon transform the way we move around, and major automotive companies are starting to manufacture their own lines of autonomous cars. 

While there is still a long way to go before we get to a stage where private-owned driverless vehicles travel our streets, the technology is here to stay. Specific regulations and supporting infrastructure is needed before private-owned driverless vehicles become mainstream. Nevertheless, London and Paris are already deploying autonomous shuttle vehicles to drive passengers between terminals at Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle airports.

Autonomous flying cars

The first autonomous Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) vehicles are currently being tested in Germany and Dubai. These cities aim to develop the first autonomous flying taxi service, which can seat up to four people. Moreover, Uber is partnering with NASA to develop a flying autonomous vehicle to use for ride-sharing. They plan to build an urban aviation rideshare network by 2023.

Smart cars

Smart cars are already a reality, and most car manufacturers are developing models that include smart technologies. Navigation systems are now standard features, and proximity sensors can help drivers park safely. 

The latest navigation systems take real-time weather and traffic conditions into account to help you optimize your route. Newer car models are also greener, as many manufacturers are producing electric and hybrid cars.

High-Speed Rail Networks

Since the arrival of the bullet train in Japan in 1964, this technology has seen little progress. However, some companies are pursuing innovations in this area. The Hyperloop, a concept developed originally by Elon Musk, was taken to the next level by Richard Branson's Virgin. 

HyperLoop One is an underground rail that can support speeds of up to 240 mph. Currently, Saudi Arabia is exploring installing a Hyperloop system to connect Riyadh with Jeddah.

What's Next?

Innovations like ride sharing, ride hailing and e-scooters are already changing the face of cities worldwide. Cities have made major progress towards their vision of green, efficient transportation, using largely the same road infrastructure and existing vehicles. 

We predict the next phase of this evolution will be transport innovations based on new technology platforms. Smart roads and smart transport solutions are empowering drivers and changing the ways cities view and manage the flow of traffic. Combined with new modes of transport like CAVs, flying cars, smart and connected vehicles, this will create totally new opportunities for transport efficiency. 

The next generation of transport technology could render our current concepts of “congestion” and “commuting” obsolete. Shared autonomous vehicles will make more efficient use of road infrastructure, will eliminate the need for driving time, and will also be environmentally neutral, causing a dramatic improvement in air quality. 

Transport tech has the potential to solve the biggest challenges of today’s megacities. But the question remains, like any major cultural change, which new challenges they will create.

 

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