One of the hugest industries to have experienced technological transformation continuously in decades is the transportation industry. You would wonder how the human transportation systems transformed from horse back to carts and carriages and into automobiles, and the aircrafts. We must admit that science fiction has a way of prophesying about technological inventions. Years back, aircrafts and jet packs were only found in the novels. Now, they are our reality. We may as well look into some science fiction novels and movies to know what’s coming soon, but this article is dedicated to bringing to the spotlight, something more factual. Below are technical innovations in the transportation system that we should watch out for.
CAVs (Connected and Autonomous Vehicles) – Driverless cars have been featured in many novels and movies before now, and they are beginning to materialize. We had to drive a stick sometimes ago, more recently we have been driving automatic cars without ‘sticks’, and now, technology is saying that we may not have to drive at all. So you just hop in your car, tell it where to go, and voilà!
Autonomous Vehicles have been tested before now in California and are still being tested around the world. Sometime ago, an autonomous car hit a pedestrian pushing her bicycle by the road. This has pushed the general acceptability of the ‘no-driver’ cars farther into the future. However, the future is around the corner.
FLYING TAXIS – Yes, you read that correctly. Flying taxis! This has been showcased in many science fiction movies, and they’re really around the corner. The delivery drone is everywhere and the transportation system is taking a step further. The most recent version of the future is the Volocopter 2x, an aircraft that is powered by nine high capacity batteries. It takes off and lands vertically and can carry as much as 160kg per cruise. It runs at an average speed of 70km/h, and cannot fly for longer than 27 minutes at a time. It has two seats and parachutes for emergency situations (although the manufacturer claims that there will never be the need for them). The flying taxi was tested in Dubai late last year and improvements are being made to produce the best kind of transportation system. The system is predicted to launch and be fully operational within the next five years.
HYPERLOOP – In basic terms, this means traveling in a pod at the speed of sound. It is currently the most advanced and most futuristic of the transportation technologies that we have in this age. It is a fusion of the maglev train and vacuum tubes that are meant for propelling pods.
This technology has been proposed by Elon Musk in 2013, when he released a white paper on this innovation which he called the Hyperloop Alpha. He says it will be very useful and effective in cities where traffic congestion is a recurring event. This means the pod or capsule will travel so fast such that people can get to their destinations on time and there won’t be any delay. This technology is still in development and so far, it is said to have reached a third of its proposed characteristics.
Very soon, with the Hyperloop and other transportation technologies, nowhere will be too far to visit.