In 2015 vehicular accidents accounted for nearly 1.3 million deaths. The Association For Safe International Road Travel indicated that road traffic crashes rank as the 9th leading cause of death and accounts for 2.2% of all deaths globally. Lets also consider the millions of people injured and disabled due to car accidents. It may be time to consider enhancing our transportation methods. We must think about reducing human error, human fatality, pollution, traffic, travel time and any other negative attribute associated with transportation. Today the potential for transportation is limitless. Self-driving technology has been on the rise. Google’s fully self-driving cars has driven for 1.5 million miles on highways and city streets for the span of 6 years.20 Google’s raw numbers report 11 minor accidents that they claim were no fault of the selfless driver.21
Tesla models have been driven 100 million miles using its autonomous Autopilot feature.22 Tesla’s new autopilot technology is an open product development and has had some negative press due to its lax safeguards and is looking to enhance safety features. That doesn’t take away from their achievements in innovation with features like auto-steer, traffic-aware cruise control, auto-park, auto-lane change and mileage efficiency. Tesla’s achievements also expand on its innovative plans to achieve a system where Tesla owners can let their car work as an autonomous taxi. As automobile technology advances, human error diminishes.
Maglev trains (Magnetic levitation) is a transport method that uses magnetic levitation to move vehicles without touching the ground.23 Maglev is a completely new mode of transportation that is being practiced in countries like Japan, Spain and Germany. Maglev trains moves passengers and freight at higher speeds and lower cost, using less energy.24 The Maglev 2000 is a project in development that “can operate in the open air, or in underground tunnels. Using a low-pressure will make it possible to get from Los Angeles to New York in 1 hour.” The company developing the Maglev 2000 has received significant Federal and Florida State funding and has already completed much of the research and development necessary for worldwide utilization. Here are several other transportation systems of the future.
- Hyperloop (pneumatic tube transportation)
- Skytran (personal rapid transit system)
- Vehicular communication systems/V2V (intelligent communication system that seeks to diminish vehicular traffic and collision)
With these forms of transport in combination with plenty of other forms of transportation, systematic sharing and liberal incorporation of mass transit, transportation can be safer, efficient and of course more economical.
Volunteers take a ride in Google self driving prototype vehicle
Autopilot on Tesla Model S
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies