What does the future of transport look like?
With the world becoming increasingly more global, the movement of money more seamless and our connections separate, yet closer, it only makes sense that the way we use transport to travel the world and deliver resources is changing to reflect this.
Disruptors around the world are racing to build and innovate new ways of travelling, and simultaneously improve our experiences with the world around us. It’s also possible in the new age of information that the accessibility of transporting materials will eliminate the need for physical storage of items in the same way that the internet eliminated the need for physical storage of information.
J. Walter Thompson Intelligence predicted new ways of transport as one of the Top 100 Trends of 2018. And, according to a report from Havas, a ‘fourth industrial revolution’ is potentially on the horizon, disrupting the way we operate and build our cities, and shifting the focus towards greater access, sustainability and innovative technology.
This could ultimately impact how we travel, and how new modes of transport can merge with other industries like hospitality, to reduce the burdens of high-density city living.
So, how do we manage the ever-increasing population of our cities (Havas estimates that 68% of worldwide inhabitants will be living in cities by 2020), and the subsequent need for an upgrade of the transportation systems that can take us, and the things we need, from A to B? Here are 4 examples in action today.
A ‘fourth industrial revolution’ is potentially on the horizon.
It’s disrupting the way we operate and build our cities and shifting the focus towards greater access, sustainability and innovative technology.
A sustainable future for the car-centric present
Implementing new technologies that diversify the current transport landscape is one recommendation recently made by PwC in their report on building sustainable transport infrastructure. Provided that the emphasis on sustainability is becoming part of our daily lives, there are many ways in which major urban centres are working towards getting as many cars (and therefore mass pollution and congestion) off the roads.
Many major cities are instead opting for better public transport and other methods of transportation to make cities more sustainable in the future.
For example, cities like Buenos Aires in South America and Lanzhou in China are taking on rapid bus transit lanes to reduce the number of cars taking up too many lanes, This works to create space for more efficient bus services. The introduction of this project in Buenos Aires in particular, according to the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy, created a system that included 17 stations, accommodated 11 bus lines which improved travel for over 200,000 passengers per day and cut travel times by over half.
Autonomous vehicles: blending transport and hospitality
When it comes to getting ourselves from A to B, we often have to endure the common pains of travel like waiting times, uncomfortable crowding and lack of privacy. We’ve all heard about self-driving cars as one solution to this, but what about self-driving cars that doubled as a hotel suite? For people regularly on the go for work, family or other commitments, it may make sense to incorporate your sleeping arrangements while travelling.
Aprilli Design Studio has taken on the challenge with their Autonomous Travel Suite concept. The concept provides a driverless vehicle which is also a hotel room with basic sleeping, working and washroom functions. The aim here is to provide travellers with time that can be used more effectively when on the road, as well as a seamless blend of comfortable travel, amenities and privacy to work
IKEA has also been cementing it’s status in this realm after recently commissioning a report on their ‘Spaces on Wheels’ concept, which seeks to create a visual exploration of automated technology through seven autonomous vehicles with designs ranging from cafes to healthcare.
The report showed that there could also be environmental benefits for the adoption of autonomous vehicles in the sense that they are a lower-carbon alternative. Not to mention the possibilities for autonomous ride-sharing taking more cars, and therefore more carbon emissions, off the road.
Innovative ways to get products from A to B
The reality of delivery services is that customers wanted their products yesterday. But what if delivery was more than just getting your online shopping from one place to another? Big companies across the world are utilising drone technology to improve the way important services like medical aid can be delivered to areas that either don’t have, or only have limited access.
Big players like Amazon, Matternet and DHL are investing heavily in this space. Not just for the convenience of quick delivery, but for important causes as well. Despite the logistical aspect of this equation being accounted for by new technology, the role of humans will still be essential for rolling out this technology as it is difficult, and likely not realistic, to replace the human side of an exchange in the future.
The new tourism sector: space
The ability to travel the world as we know it has become far more seamless, so is it possible that space travel as tourism will take off in the future? Many are jumping on this trend, with SpaceX and Blue Origin on the frontline and taking passengers (for a rather large fee) to travel into space.
Organisations like Planetary Society are also working to provide both better education about space exploration, but also the possibility for greater exploration in general. Founded by Carl Sagan, Louis Friedman, and Bruce Murray in 1980, and currently OFX customers, the Society is now the largest and most influential non-profit space organisation in the world.
The organisation aims to bridge the gap between the general public and the scientific community so people all around the world can discover the wonder that space offers, which may very well mean space travel itself. The organisation has officially launched its own space agency in collaboration with the Australian Government as of July this year.
The future of innovative ways to travel and deliver services shows no sign of slowing down. And with a greater emphasis on accessibility and sustainability, this could be a really positive thing for the future of our cities, and society at large.
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