The future of transportation holds many exciting promises. From autonomous vehicles to delivery drones and smart roads, concepts described as “impossible” many years ago are becoming a reality right before our eyes.
Why it’s Time for Industry Change
Transportation has transformed our society and opened the doors to many possibilities. Moving products across the globe in a matter of days once seemed unfathomable but has become possible through innovation and transportation. However, as human society evolves, our needs change, and it becomes ineluctable that the transportation industry adapts to meet these new needs. Some of the challenges that the transportation industry is currently facing include increased mobility demand, pollution, unstable oil prices, driver shortage, and city congestion. Providing adequate solutions to these problems will ensure that our transportation system is well-adjusted to meet current needs and flexible enough to accommodate future changes.
Future delivery vehicles
Future delivery vehicles need to take a more practical approach to overcome the challenges in the transportation industry. This can be achieved by incorporating cleaner energy sources, autonomy, and advanced technology into the current transportation system. Examples of delivery vehicles that’ll likely become mainstream in the nearest future include autonomous trucks and cars, delivery drones, and electric cargo ship vessels.
Autonomous Trucks and Cars
Autonomous vehicles can solve the driver shortage problem that the trucking industry currently faces. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), the industry needs at least 80,000 more drivers to meet the demands of American consumers. With autonomous trucks and cars, companies can become less dependent on truck drivers for their delivery needs. Since these vehicles do not take breaks like human drivers, travel time reduces, leading to lower fuel consumption and increased productivity. The in-built technologies in autonomous cars and trucks can also significantly reduce the occurrences of road accidents by detecting possible collisions and taking steps to avert them.
Due to growth in urban populations and the recent boom in e-commerce, there has been an increase in transportation demand and a growing number of delivery trucks on the roads. This increase has led to a higher traffic volume and more road congestion. Using drones for delivery tasks can lessen congestion by reducing the number of delivery trucks on roads. Delivery drones also reduce average delivery time since they’re unaffected by land infrastructures, such as traffic jams or queues. Finally, electrically powered drones lower delivery costs as they do not rely on fuel.
Electric Cargo Ship Vessels
Cargo ships emit up to a billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere yearly and are responsible for 9% of all global air emissions of sulfur oxides. The environmental consequences of these emissions include higher temperatures, extreme weather, food supply disruptions, wildfires, acid rain, respiratory problems, etc.
To avert these consequences, the maritime industry needs to embrace electric cargo ships that rely on the energy storage of batteries–not fossil fuels. Electric cargo vessels can significantly cut down on harmful emissions, reduce sound pollution, and maximize the efficiency of onboard generators.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation industry is the most significant contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the US, accounting for up to 29% of the country’s total GHG emissions. Ditching fossil fuels for renewable energy can reduce these emissions from the transportation sector. Renewable energy refers to the energy obtained from self-replenishing sources, such as the sun, rain, wind, and geothermal heat. Unlike fossil fuels, this type of energy does not emit greenhouse gases and is also biodegradable. Examples of renewable energy that transportation vehicles can use include:
- Liquid biofuels, such as biodiesel, bioethanol, and advanced biofuels
- Natural gas like biomethane
- Electrical energy
As the transportation industry changes to meet our current societal and economic needs, the infrastructure on which the entire transport system lies should be improved, as well. This infrastructure includes installations of roads, waterways, railways, canals, tunnels, bridges, pipelines, bus and railway stations, airports, and trucking terminals.
Anti-traffic tunnels can help reduce road congestion in busy cities by diverting traffic from busy highways through an underground transit system. Building underground tunnels is an intelligent way to avoid the hindrances (already existing roads, buildings, and water bodies) that usually come with building roads on the Earth’s surface. These tunnels provide alternative routes for motorists to pass, thereby solving the problem of traffic congestion.
Smart roads incorporate advanced software like big data and AI applications with IoT (Internet of Things) equipment such as smart streetlights, solar panels, traffic cameras, parking meters, etc. These roads use integrated systems to monitor traffic flow, reduce congestion, inform commuters of hazardous weather conditions, improve road visibility, etc.
GoShip Can Meet All Your Shipping Needs
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