Fundamental breakthroughs in transportation are being developed. Ford chairman: 'Our new transportation revolution will be like going from horses to cars.' Car apps are in every new model. Uber is revolutionizing the taxi industry. Google and other car companies are working on self driving cars. The electrification of transport is accelerating. Here is a glimpse of what it will be in the future because we feel it coming like a wave. But we have no clear idea of what it will be and how it will impact our daily lives.
You get the point. Here are the five technologies that will deeply change forever the landscape of transportation within 25 years. An optimized combination of theses technologies will be the key for major changes.
1. Self driving cars
Right now we are far from a technology that is more secure than human in all situations: rain, snow, etc. But it is definitely inevitable. But this has implications beyond just the possibility to watch a movie while your car brings you somewhere. Your car will book his own appointment for repair and go there by itself. It will also be able to go by itself pick the grocery and medication. It will go wash itself at the car wash. And why not bring your kids to the soccer game? This could completely change the way we organize our lives.
2. Electrification of transportation
It will have a long term impact on global emissions, hopefully on time to mitigate the sea level rise and the warming of the planet. It will be a big change in the economy. The big fossil fuel industry will disappear. A new economy will rise: installation and maintenance of green energy infrastructures, recycling. For sure a bigger part of humanity will work on creative development of new initiatives to make this planet more sustainable.
3. Peer-to-peer car rental and parking sharing
Car sharing is peer-to-peer car rental. Inevitably, any car could be available for rent in the case it is not used. The technology is already existing and working. It is definitely more flexibility and a big improvement to e-mobility. You could also reserve parking nearby, in peoples entrances, etc. This technology is already existing and easy to combine with other systems. And since your car will just drop you wherever you want you could set it to go park very far for lower fares.
But why park when let your self driving car go and provide transportation to other citizens anyway?
4. Massive carpooling
This is also inevitable. The opportunity of instant communications and data management is making it possible. Eventually artificial intelligence will support users and cars to optimize carpooling activity, as a passenger or as a driver. It will be available in car apps with voice recognition. It will monitor calendar and make seat reservations on behalf of users. It will also guide users to take the optimized path by comparing and combining carpooling and public transportation.
But why bother carpooling if you have electric cars that emit no pollution? Well, even if you have 100% electric self driving cars, those millions solo cars is just too much pressure on downtown areas. And 15 cars is a free bus: you get transportation for 50 people just by filling all the seats!
Think about the billions: Money spent in infrastructures to tackle the traffic problems, escalating costs of public transport development, add the value of waisted hours, and add the billions of dollars each individual overspend on transportation just to go to work and park. Astronomical amounts that could be spent elsewhere! How about better schools, better parks, fight climate change, more health…
5. The use of cars as a delivery system
Optimize the routes for small packages delivery is a big need. One could easily see a new kind of car trunk, secured and used as a point to point transportation system using the posted informations on the existing car networks. An encrypted code or a smart phone could open it at destination. It is an idea that will gain popularity within the online selling platforms and it is way less invasive than drones. Imagine self driving cars making small deliveries of fresh produces from local farmers. Imagine all the small businesses and restaurants that will have access to an instant distribution system to a fraction of existing costs.
A lot of hard questions will have to be addressed as well: How will all these technologies impact the auto, taxi and delivery industry? Could we maintain employment? Will companies and individuals be able to be flexible and embrace change?
The consequences of these new way to organize our world will trigger massive changes. We will be able to humanize our cities and inspire creation in many ways: more place for bikes and pedestrians.
More connection within humans and Nature. And more time for human work and creativity.
Founder of SeatsPlanet