The world is starting to develop some innovative means of transportation to cope with our increasingly congested polluted cities and diminishing fossil fuel supplies. We’re seeing space age style transportation systems such as the Hyperloop, a futuristic high speed transportation system under development by billionaire inventor Elon Musk.
[bctt tweet=”by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s people will live in cities, almost as many people as are alive today”] Source
A new generation of electric bikes and cars are being developed, and driverless cars and pilotless planes are likely to become a part of everyday life in the not too distant future. It’s good news for the world: these technologies have much to offer us and will help us overcome many of our existing transportation and environmental challenges.
We’re starting to see serious work being done to develop new generations of electric cars that reduce our dependency on oil. With the work of companies such as Tesla and Faraday Future, who just unveiled a cutting edge electric super car, the next few years are likely to see increased adoption of this technology. This will mean cleaner, quieter streets as the new cars are both low emission producing and much more silent than fossil fuel based vehicles.
Self-driving cars are also on the agenda, and there’s political support for this technology from powerful figures such as US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. He’s announced his intention to allocate close to $4bn over 10 years to testing the feasibility of automated vehicles in practical use in US cities.
Self-driving cars have much to offer humanity. They open up independent transportation options for a whole range of people who are unable to drive, release those who are able to drive from the pressure of having to focus on the road instead of relaxing and enjoying the journey, and hopefully help combat problems such as drink driving. But the significance of self-driving cars goes further than just helping drunk people get home. Computerised cars can communicate with each other at junctions, eliminating the need to stop and start and reducing congestion.
[bctt tweet=”electric vehicle would give £1,000 of fuel savings a year per driver, and spark a 47% drop in carbon emissions by 2030″] Source
In the future we may also look up to see a skyborne army of drone delivery agents flying goods across your city. Although current models of drone aircraft have a limited range and can only handle lightweight goods, there’s been some serious investment by parties such as Amazon and we may see the possibilities of the technology expand. Many of the world’s biggest technological leaps forward have come off the back of military investment into new technologies and drones are no exception. The use of drones for civilian purposes is only a very recent development in the life of this technology.
[bctt tweet=”Amazon delivery drones will have a flight range of 10 +miles and carry parcels of up to 2.5kg. “] Source
However there are many barriers to widespread adoption of unmanned flying aircraft in civilian areas. In some parts of the world it’s mandatory for anyone flying a drone aircraft to be a fully qualified pilot, and security concerns have seen them banned from public events for fear of skyborne terrorist attacks. Drone delivery offers the opportunity to take traffic off our streets and deliver items to our homes speedily, which could really improve congestion. However the limited range of the technology and concerns about security mean that their future in everyday life is not yet assured.
— Birds Eye View Pro (@BirdsEyeViewPro) January 8, 2016
The future also promises some time-saving innovations in inter-city transport. The Hyperloop high speed transport system could potentially transport you over long distances inside a pressurised tube. It’s a space age technology using linear induction and air compressors to potentially increase the speed of travelling long distance, significantly reducing journey time between major cities.
[bctt tweet=”the Hyperloop can travel close to the speed of sound. That’s roughly 760 miles per hour.”] Source
A train journey between London and Edinburgh currently takes between four and five hours by train: the Hyperloop would reduce this to around 30 minutes. The other advantage is that the system requires very little energy. In practical terms, the system would look like a transparent tube carriage mounted on raised platforms. It’s as yet untested, but there are plans afoot to begin initial trials. There will be many legislative, cost and safety barriers to overcome before this radical transportation system can come to fruition.
One technology that’s already well within reach is the electric bicycle. Sales of this reliable and familiar technology are already booming, with 33% growth reported in some parts of Europe. Manufacturers of electric bikes confidently expect that one in three bikes sold in the future will be electric ones, because customers find they fit so easily into their lifestyles. They’re especially popular in Germany, with North America and Asia tipped as the next big growth areas for electric bikes.
[bctt tweet=”by 2023, one in three new bicycles sold will come with an electric motor as Europeans are embracing battery-powered bikes”] Source
The reason this growth is so feasible is that unlike some of the other technologies discussed, there are no legislative or safety barriers to overcome before consumers can start making use of the technology. Electric bikes are already in use all around the world and their use is likely to grow in the coming years. We’ll be able to look forward to cleaner, greener streets as they enable more people to embrace cycling as a means of transport.
You can start making a change to the streets we live on, reduce the amount of pollution, congestion and accidents and invest in the future with an electric bike.