The future of transportation: way ahead.

  • What will the future of transportation be like?
  • How will autonomous technology change our roads and skies?
  • Which new transportation methods are likely to emerge in the future?
  • What impact will driverless cars have on road traffic in urban areas?
  • If a self-driving car makes a collision or meets with an accident, who will be held responsible?

Future of transportation — Three key concepts

  • Autonomous technology
  • Electric power
  • Smart technology that ensures safety

Evolving transportation innovations to look forward to in the future

The Hyperloop

  • The concept of the Hyperloop was first proposed by Elon Musk in the year 2012.
  • With Hyperloops, pods or capsules will be able to transport people and goods through tubes using magnetic technology at super-fast speeds of nearly 600 mph.
  • This will ease traffic congestion and increase travel speed.
  • The Hyperloop will connect different countries, and even continents since it is specifically suited for long-distance travel.

Autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs)

  • These are autonomous drones that have been engineered to carry passengers.
  • They make use of horizontal rotors for vertical take-off and landing. Hence, they do not need a runway.
  • EHang AAV is the passenger-grade electric autonomous aerial vehicle created for short and medium-haul transportation of passengers. With the EHang AAV, the era of air mobility will begin.
  • The testing and demonstrations of AAVs are being carried out and they are likely to be a part of our life soon.

Hoverbikes

  • These resemble autonomous aerial vehicles.
  • They have four rotors (quadcopters) and have the capacity to carry one individual at a time.
  • A Russian company named ‘Hoversurf’ has already built a Hoverbike named S3 2019. This Hoverbike priced at USD 150,000 is capable of flying at a speed of 96 km/hr and an altitude of 33 feet.

Waymo — Google’s former self-driving car project

  • Google’s project of self-driving cars began in 2009.
  • In the year 2016, Waymo, an autonomous driving technology company became Google’s self-driving car project.
  • Waymo became the subsidiary business of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc.
  • After Waymo became a part of Google, it has conducted several public trials of autonomous vehicles driven by the Waymo driver without anyone occupying the driver’s seat.
  • Waymo was launched as a separate division by Google to manufacture and launch driverless vehicles for consumers around the world.
  • In 2018, Waymo announced that driverless cars will be available by 2020. However, at present, only trial runs are being carried out.
  • Waymo’s concept of driverless cars is to use high-resolution powerful cameras and lidar to track different objects in the surroundings and navigate safely to the destination.
  • Waymo is testing several autonomous vehicles in limited areas of California and Arizona.
  • Waymo has already launched driverless taxi services in Arizona, Phoenix, and San Francisco.

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