For many years, the world has dreamed of cars that could drive themselves and every day we’re getting closer to that becoming reality. Autonomous vehicles offer the biggest change to transportation and logistics that these industries have seen since the introduction of the steam engine or internal combustion engine.
It’s looking inevitable that we’ll soon be living in a world without people driving… err.. anything. This will have massive implications on the economy, considering an estimated 4 million jobs are at risk of being displaced by autonomous vehicles. I mean let’s be real, what need is there for a UPS driver when Amazon can have a drone fly anywhere in town, pick up what you need, and fly it over to you in less than 30 minutes? By the way things are going, the only way we’ll have taxi drivers in the future is if those companies put up enough of a lobbying effort to protect their interests. Planes, trains, and automobiles, anything with a driver or a pilot is ripe to be disrupted in the coming 5-10 years.
It’s a whole thing in itself to try to figure out how those 4 million people without jobs will be retrained in a new profession. Not to mention the fact that those 4 million people are just the tip of the iceberg, robots and artificial intelligence are threatening a potentially even larger chunk of our jobs.
From self driving cars to entirely new means of transportation like the Hyper Loop or even the autonomous drone taxis that launched earlier this year in Dubai, transpiration as we know it is preparing to under go more changes than we can even imagine.
To get a more clear picture of what this future will look like, we spoke with transportation industry experts and asked them:
What’s the Future of Transportation?
Here’s what they shared with us…
Doug Kaufman, CEO of TransLoc
This paradigm shift away from ownership toward multimodality and interconnectedness capitalizes on the flexibility of shared modes and the productivity of mass transit to provide passengers with more choices than ever before on how they get around. Autonomous vehicles are also a part of the future and won’t displace mass transit.
Instead, they’ll become another option in this seamless mobility network, helping to overcome transit’s present limitations and frustrations. The transit system of the future is fluid and fuses common payment, seemingly endless permutations of mobility options, and inter-modal communication to the benefit of riders and the rider experience.”
Robert Clinton, VP of Rail, Ideagen PLC
Many software products can now be used on mobile devices, tablets and desktop formats – increasing flexibility for those capturing critical information remotely.
Despite the fact that the legacy of the transport industry has typically seen a slow speed in taking a more digitised approach, companies in the rail industry are now recognising that cloud data has given the power to utilise this data wiser. Many top CEOs within the transportation industry recognise that operational data is there and ready to be used and this data can now have freedom to blossom and add value.
As business intelligence, analytical data, mobile software applications and smart devices continue to dominate everyday working life, this trend looks set to continue into the future.”
Hannah Steffensen, Media Relations Manager at GPS Trackit
Alex Moazed, CEO of Applico
Dr. Julian Stephens, Technical Development Manager at MJC² Limited
Synchro-modality is an ambitious concept: live big data streams processed by real-time optimisation algorithms, exploiting current and anticipated advances in machine intelligence. However it is already happening: the freight industry is sometimes seen as nervous of innovation but a major initiative known as SYNCHRO-NET is leading the way in logistics.
MJC² is working with DHL and other major logistics operators in SYNCHRO-NET to implement a pan-European synchromodal transport network which will massive reduce costs and environmental footprint in the freight industry.
Interestingly the synchro-modal concept transfers easily to passenger transport, enabling greener and cheaper options for almost anyone on the move.”
Keith Maurer, Owner of Transportation for Tomorrow
There are also regulatory, legal, and insurance issues to consider. Owning a car will be less common, but ride sharing and fractional car ownership will take hold. Intercity bus and even rail may become popular. As for freight, we will see a revitalization of short haul rail roads as industry moves back to the US. Aviation will be about flat, with freight and local shipping growing with the needs of online retailers. There is also a huge opportunity for drone transport once regulatory issues are resolved.”
Paul Miser, CEO & Founder of Chinatown Bureau
All vehicles will work within an autonomous grid allowing for precise scheduling between multi modes of transportation in a single journey allowing for the seamless orchestration. The transportation industry will be broken out into a hierarchy of services surrounding scheduling interfaces, operating systems and artificial intelligence, fleet / driver management and component (vehicle) design in a manner that closely serves the individual needs of users.”