We all have sat in traffic and thought to ourselves at least once that we would give anything for teleportation to be a thing already. When it takes double or triple the usual amount of time to get home, the construction is endless and the detours constant, it can even be tempting to just give up and leave the car and walk home. Or at least, those are the thoughts you entertain as you mindlessly stare at the car in front of you.
As we continue to grow and change as a planet, our needs for transport continue to change as well. Advancing technology trying to keep up with both the financial market and public interest and need means that transportation will keep on changing like crazy. So what does this mean for the way we move, and what transport trends can we look forward to in the near future?
From the most outlandish science fiction movies to our craziest imaginations, autonomous vehicles, meaning self-driving vehicles, have been part of our futuristic world for quite some time. However, this futuristic world is beginning to be more and more likely in the years ahead, instead of stuck in the latest sci-fi movie.
The biggest push and reasoning for autonomous vehicles is for their safety features. In today’s world, the reality is that texting and driving or even just handling the phone and driving is causing more and more accidents and deaths. The idea of autonomous vehicles means that those safety issues are gone, as the car is driving rather than you. The car is constantly scanning the environment, making it even more aware of other cars on the road than you could be, even without being distracted. In fact, as of right now, the biggest problem with autonomous car safety is the other drivers on the road hitting it. Becoming a fully autonomous driving society would eliminate even this issue.
The safety of autonomous vehicles makes it beneficial for not only private drivers but also companies that offer heavy transport services or even forklifts for rent. Autonomous heavy machinery would be able to scan their environment constantly for hazards, unlike a human driver who would only be able to look in one direction at a time.
Another safety benefit is the decrease in generally bad drivers on the road. Drunk driving, aggressive driving, distracted driving, inexperienced or generally poor driving would essentially be eliminated. It would, however, take jobs away from the taxi industry, which is something that will need to be considered in the future.
Robotics, similar to autonomous vehicles, will take over the shipping industry in no time. Places like shipping container transport in Auckland will eventually have robotics take over the loading and moving of heavy objects in a shipping yard. Efficiency and safety are two main benefits of robotic loading, but again, the impact on shipping yard jobs would be felt across the world.
Issues with climate change and purchasing of eco friendly items are becoming more and more important to the public, which means that the transport industry must also move in that direction. Battery powered cars are some of the most publicised green vehicles because of their non reliance on gasoline or diesel. This means that they also produce less pollution than regular cars.
Car shares are also gaining popularity, and eventually may become the more popular way to drive. Many young people are finding it less important to get their driver license as they prefer to stay home or save their money. This means that services that allow you to rent a car for a short time are more preferable since you only need to pay a small amount rather than pay your car loan and insurance fees every month.
Car shares and using taxi services are also on the rise due to the public being more eco conscious. Instead of each individual having their own car on the road, they can participate in a car share and only use a car when needed, reducing the number of cars producing pollution on the road.
On demand transport
Instant is the name of the game in this day and age. On demand is already available in our day to day lives as consumers, but will continue to grow. We can call up an Uber taxi from any street corner, and have almost anything delivered quickly and efficiently.
Transport will continue to remain on demand, with things like car shares as talked about above, or drivers available at any time. Self driving transportation, like buses and taxis, would make it easier to stay on time because the other cars on the road would be equally as predictable. This may even add to an increase of using public transportation, since it would be more reliable and safer.
Fully connected transportation means a future of extremely smart vehicles. With constant connection to GPS, self driving cars could predict when you need to leave, factoring live traffic information with weather patterns and construction. While a separate GPS already does this, like your smartphone, your car itself would be connected to the web now, and would be able to instantly adjust necessary. As mentioned above, connected transport like buses or trains would much more accurate and provide real time updates to the rider waiting for their ride.
Taking this concept even further, vehicles will be able to better communicate when they’re due for some type of update. For example, a forklift could send a request for new Cat forklift parts when it’s due for a replacement part, or when a fluid change is due.
As we’ve seen through this article, that futuristic vision of autonomous everything that we see in movies isn’t so futuristic anymore. It even seems like the benefits outweigh the negatives, as we’ll be able to move faster, safer, and more environmentally conscious than ever before. Only time will tell how resistant the world’s population will be to letting go of autonomy, and embracing the new ways of moving.