Big changes may soon happen to our roads, seas, and skies. Driverless cars, air taxis, and passenger pods capable of transferring people at speeds of 600 mph or more are bound to make travel faster and safer in the years ahead. These future transportation trends can change the way we commute and travel.
With new innovation comes lots of debate on how technology will impact us and the world around us. There are also tons of safety concerns, regulatory decisions, and ethical questions that will need to be addressed as new transportation methods take over.
Here are 5 of the future transportation changes to look out for:
Transportation visionary Elon Musk is developing a technology known as hyperloop. According to him, it’s capable of transporting passengers and freight at speeds of up to 760 mph as early as 2021. The technology would move a group of people or goods in a vehicle through a pressurized track that would accelerate gradually.
This vision hopes to replace bullet trains and airplanes. He envisions cutting the travel time from Los Angeles to San Francisco to 35 minutes.
Autonomous Cars, Trucks, and Ships
Driverless cars are already in test pilot on our roads, with companies like Tesla, Audi, Uber, and Volkswagen already making headlines for the cutting edge technology. Autonomous vehicles hope to remove human error from the transportation equation. Distracted driving is the lead cause of deaths on the road and human mistakes cause between 75% to 96% of maritime accidents, so the argument for autonomous transportation is strong.
As autonomous cars, trucks, and ships take over our roads and seas, there will likely be a big impact on the trucking and freight industry. Today, the US trucking industry employs more than 5% of full-time workers in the US. Questions over how autonomous vehicles will impact the job market remain.
More than 20 companies are already in the race to get safe and cost-effective aerial rides in the sky. The Small Aircraft Transportation System will hope to cut city-to-city travel time by operating out of small, local airports. This is in comparison to the major airports most of the US relies on to travel now.
The technology still needs to overcome high production costs and regulation challenges from the FAA and other international aviation organizations.
Another transportation innovation coming to us from the mind of Elon Musk is an underground tunnel system to solve local traffic issues. This infrastructure system would make our roads 3D, allowing cars to pay a fee to be lowered underground and transported at high speeds on a metal trolley-like platform.
The Boring Company has already prototyped the technology in Los Angeles. It is working to solve some of the big issues surrounding the technology, such as costs and infrastructure challenges.
Soon, your neighborhood mailman could be replaced by a flying robot. The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved UPS drone delivery for prescription medication in rural areas. This could mean that the organization is considering to implement full-scale commercial robot delivery.
Delivery drones present privacy questions and will likely increase the cost of delivery, at least in the short term. Drones can also put properties and lives at risk. These safety concerns should undergo analysis before anything else.
For more future transportation trends, check out this visual from The Zebra below!
Please include attribution to TheZebra.com with this graphic.
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