Although the last 100 years have been characterized by digital advancements, the manner in which we travel to work has stayed reasonably unchanged. Swap a Ford T Model for a Civic Honda – and dirt, narrow roads for congested, paved highways – and the process remains the same: go inside, insert the ignition key, and drive to your desired destination.
A recent UPS report on transport trends, called Future Routes, which was commissioned by The Future Institute, said that by 2026, we will probably live in a world with vehicles that are cleverer, more versatile and connected better than ever before. Also, in contrast to the cliched “man versus machine” plots of scifi books and films, human beings and clever vehicles will work together in harmony.
Real estate agents, town planners, social service providers and police officers have reason to be excited. Information about travel times, routes and trends (stored in the cloud then combined with information about other drivers) will greatly help these professionals plan bridges, manage the flow of traffic and find new developments.
Nonetheless, the question is, how will these advanced vehicles and roads appear, and will companies and mechanics be able to adapt? This is a taster of the report’s main factors involved in this process.
1. AUTONOMOUS CARS COULD CHANGE TOWNS AND SECTORS
At the moment, we have vehicles that can alert drivers if they breach lane dividers and provide parking assistance. Future Routes says that, by 2024, vehicles will have the ability to drive themselves.
The report goes on to say that driverless vehicles are less likely to be involved in accidents, because human error is eliminated. This makes the experience of driving safer. Once driverless vehicles can safely travel close to each other at high speed, motorways could shrink in size.
Moreover, with lower injury risks, vehicles can become lighter, smaller and more energy efficient.