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Best of 2022: Innovations in Transportation

A highway driving into the future

Transportation industry trends have been pretty impressive this year and have affected numerous sectors. From freight shipping, to consumer vehicles, to package delivery, new transportation technology has made notable advances. In terms of common themes, each of these are making transit more efficient while using fewer costly resources. And at the same time, they are also reducing environmental impacts and transportation hiccoughs. With that said, the following reflect some of the most notable developments in the transportation sector for 2022. Not only do these trends showcase transportation improvements but also provide a hint of things to come.

  • Electric Transportation – Advances in electric vehicles have certainly been one of the most obvious transportation industry trends this year. With passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, incentives have been created to fuel growth of this sector. Likewise, some states are passing legislation forcing car companies to invest more heavily in this new transportation technology. As EVs become increasingly adopted, advances in charging infrastructures will also advance. Vehicle-to-grid, fast charging stations, and mobile charging are a few developments already expanding. Not only do electric vehicles promise reduced climate impacts. They also operate with less noise and have much better motor efficiency. (California is taking on the car industry over electric vehicles–read more in this Bold story.)
  • Autonomous Vehicles – This has been one of the transportation industry trends for some time. However, this past year has seen continued improvements in autonomous technologies. Sensors, LIDAR and advanced high-resolution camera systems are responsible for some of these advances. At the same time, the use of artificial intelligence for object recognition has similarly played a role. While automated cars are currently being tested in some major cities, this new transportation technology will be more evident in its impact in trucking. Autonomous trucks are expected to be more efficient and address driver shortages in the near future. This is why autonomous truck and metropolitan development is a hot item currently.
  • AI and IoT in Transportation – In essence, artificial intelligence is impacting nearly every industry today. But in terms of transportation industry trends, it is playing a major role. In addition to its use in autonomous and electric vehicles, it is also heavily involved in traffic systems and driver safety. AI is routinely used now to predict traffic flows in an effort to reduce traffic congestion and improve efficiency. Combined with the Internet-of-Things, AI now helps detect driver drowsiness, improve inventory management, and track shipments from source to destination. This new transportation technology combination will revolutionize transportation safety measures as well as performance efficiency in the years to come.
  • Green Energy in Transportation – As is evident above, major transportation industry trends are striving to reduce climate effects. A notable part of this will involve electric vehicles. But at the same time, green energy developments in current fuels will also be important. In this regard, new transportation technology related to fuels has seen some advances in 2022 as well. Alternative fuels involving hydrogen, liquified gas, and synthetics are being introduced, particularly in marine and aviation sectors. Given that these transportation areas will not be replaced by electric options soon, these are important endeavors. Combined with constantly improving vessel designs, these green energy innovations have cut emissions and pollution levels already. And these will undoubtedly be a focus for the immediate future as well.
  • Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) – In years past, transportation industry trends saw major shifts in MaaS innovations. What began with Uber and Lyft ride-sharing progressed to e-bikes, scooters, and more. However, more recent developments are taking things a step further using new transportation technology platforms. These singular platforms allow customers to design trips from start to finish by combining a variety of transportation options. These include both public and private transit methods, and services are routinely present on-demand. Such platforms have notably improved resource use, carpooling, traffic congestion and ease of bookability. Plus, most offer both subscription and pay-as-you-go models for customers, further improving flexibility.
  • Drones and eVTOL Vehicles – Major transportation industry trends have taken place this past year in terms of drones and eVTOL aircraft. In terms of drones, these are being utilized for a variety of purposes. Increasingly, drone delivery of medications, food and other supplies is being used. These activities are helping to get needed materials to remote areas where emergency services and routine delivery modes may be limited. Drones are also being considered for deliveries in rural areas outside metropolitan regions. At the same time, drone-like electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft have taken major steps this year. Within the next two years, eVTOL crafts will part of major city air taxi programs. Not only will these provide greater transit options. But they will also reduce noise and be much more energy efficient in the process. (Vertical takeoff airports are going to be the next big thing in air travel–read more in this Bold story.)
  • Transportation Management Systems – Building upon past transportation industry trends, this past year has continued to see innovations in smart technologies. Automated systems have improved especially within the shipping and freight industries. Digital sensors are used not only in packages but likewise to assist with shipping navigations. Robotics have also continued to advance with the latest robotics systems sorting and packing. All of these new transportation technology additions continue to improve transportation management systems. And with the use of data analytics and GPS, nearly everything is being tracked in real-time. As a result, transportation systems have become increasingly efficient as well as safer for workers. And for consumers, enhanced transparency has provided conveniences like never before.
An electric car charging at a station
There were a multitude of transportation industry trends in 2022 that were rife with innovation–what’s next for 2023?

Looking Ahead to 2023

It has certainly been an impressive year with several transportation industry trends ushering in major innovations. Building upon years’ past, new transportation technology continues to push the envelope in automation, autonomous operations, electricity-drive, and AI-based creations. It’s therefore likely these will continue to evolve even as new ideas emerge. Already, blockchain technologies are being introduced to assist with financial security and transparency. And there remain many great opportunities in transportation infrastructure breakthroughs. Indeed, transportation innovations have been inspiring for 2022. But they may be even more so in 2023.


Sometimes businesses are like rose bushes, and need to be pruned to grow. Read more about prune and grow, and Musk’s use of it, in this Bold story.

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