The transportation industry is pushing the envelope of development this year. As far as innovations go, there are several bold and radical ones which will be rolled out soon. Self-driving cars, rolling and flying delivery drones, Dubai’s flying drone taxis, and the much-awaited Hyperloop all promise to modernize and improve the world’s transportation systems. These are bold advancements that could very well change how people travel and affect the quality of their daily lives.
Long commutes can be eliminated, people will no longer need to drive for long stretches, and travelling to distant cities or states will be reduced to a fraction of an hour. People will no longer be uprooted from their homes just to be able to work somewhere far away. The good news is that there are more developments that push human ingenuity and creativity in the pipeline.
Popular ride sharing app Uber has announced plans to launch small, electric aircraft which take off vertically.
These flying cars will be flying out in the Dallas area by the year 2020. It aims to cut 45-minute commutes down to mere minutes, while keeping costs in the vicinity of Uber ride fares.
Jeff Holden, Chief Product Officer of Uber Technologies, described these flying taxis as : “the pinnacle of urban mobility — the reduction of congestion and pollution from transportation, giving people their time back, freeing up real estate dedicated to parking and providing access to mobility in all corners of a city,” Vox.com reported.
The small quadcopters are meant to carry packages while the larger planes were designed to ferry people. The beauty of vertical takeoffs and landings is that it eliminates the need for long runways in different parts of the city. Uber passengers can go to a “vertiport” to travel to a different city and immediately hop on to an Uber ride to get to their exact destination. Surprisingly, the fare is almost as cheap as a regular trip – $1.32 per passenger mile. This service is expected to roll out by 2020.
Trends, Developments, and Projections
Supersonic flights will make a comeback with a startup company called Boom set to test flights by next year. Aerion Supersonic has also partnered with Airbus to create more fuel-efficient supersonic planes and hopefully make the aircraft more popular than the Concorde. Both companies have worked out ways to get rid of sonic boom.
The space race has become more competitive with the bold innovation of SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk. The software and technology they are testing has allowed them to land and retrieve rocket components so they can be re-used on the landing pad. SpaceX’s goals though, isn’t confined to rocket launches for space probes. Their goal is to promote space tourism and ferry both cargo and people to and from planets and other celestial bodies. Musk is also planning to colonize Mars.
Autonomous cars and self-driving taxis are small-scale plans now. Autonomous software is being developed and tested to enable self-driving trucks and ships to ferry cargo and large shipments to different parts of the country or the world. Automated shipment will be run by robots and will be seen across trucks, trains and ships. This bold and futuristic development will bring down shipping costs and affect market prices of goods and other commodities.
More importantly, these kinds of progress translate to a higher level of satisfaction among people. Development and innovations are perceived as markers for progress – both economic and cultural – and inspire people to do more and make the most out of life.