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As the year winds to an end, it’s hard to imagine what could have been if COVID-19 never happened. But alas, it did and with it came new ways of living, including remote working and learning. This had a major impact on a number of industries, especially transport.

 

The past few years saw much talk about the future of transport and what new technology might mean for the industry. From automation to voice integration, flying and self- driving cars, the future of transport was looking to eclipse the idea of the Delorean from ‘Back to the Future’. But since the pandemic, has that all changed?

Effects of COVID-19

Whilst yes, distance education and remote work will increasingly affect the transportation industry in the coming years, especially with regards to car sales dropping and a decrease in demand for public transport systems. However, according to experts, “the 2020s will change cars more than the last 50 years combined.”

Trends to watch out for

AI and Data-Driven Maritime Transport

As advances in AI continue, it is clear the tech will play a major role in shaping the future of transport. Already in Scandinavian countries like Finland and Norway, autonomous ships have been used and are expected in the wider market soon. According to FuturesPlatform, advanced artificial intelligence “can calculate optimised routes and transport velocity by combining weather and sea current data.”

 

High-Speed Travel

We’ve all dreamt of being able to skip the traveling part of any holiday, just so we can get to our vacay destinations faster, and now thanks to tech advances, unprecedented faster traveling options are going to be viable very soon. One example is the Hyperloop.

A futurist tubular system that shoots pod-like capsules between destinations at speeds of more than 500 miles per hour, the Hyperloop is fast gaining traction with potential route ideas already springing up around the world. According to engineer and fellow at the World Academy for Arts and Science, Ian Pearson, the Hyperloop could break ground as early as next year. Apart from cutting down your travel time in half, the Hyperloop will also be a great aid in the delivery of food and medical supplies during emergencies and disasters.

Autonomous Cars

One of the most iconic TV cars of all time must be KITT from television series, Knight Rider. It’s crazy to think that just 20 years ago the idea of a self-driving talking car was pure imagination and now it’s reality. With companies like Tesla and Ford racing to build autonomous vehicles, there is no doubt we will be seeing more KITT’s on our road in no time!

There is also a lot of talk around robot vehicles that will completely “blur the boundaries between home, car, workplace and vacation.” For example, Audi, Airbus and Italdesign have presented ‘Pop.Up Next’ an entirely electric, fully automatic concept for horizontal and vertical mobility. The ultra-light, two-seater passenger cabin can be attached either to a car module or to a flight module. Looking ahead, this kind of car could transport people faster and conveniently via air or road, which would solve bumper to bumper traffic mornings!

The next few years are definitely going to be exciting as we watch the ideas of our imaginations come to life with technology innovation continuing to see the impossible become possible.

Make sure to keep an eye our out for our upcoming blog looking at the then & now of autonomous cars!

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