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3D Transportation

3D transportation is a recent idea of new transportation that is beginning to be explored in the United States from new innovative companies such as, The Boring Company. To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D, which means either flying cars or tunnels. Unlike flying cars, tunnels are weatherproof, out of sight and won’t fall on your head. A large network of tunnels many levels deep would fix congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew (just keep adding levels). The key to making this work is increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more – this is the goal of The Boring Company. Fast to dig, low cost tunnels would also make Hyperloop adoption viable and enable rapid transit across densely populated regions, enabling travel from New York to Washington DC in less than 30 minutes (The Boring Company).

Loop is a high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported on autonomous electric skates traveling at 125-150 miles per hour. Electric skates will carry between 8 and 16 passengers (mass transit), or a single passenger vehicle (The Boring Company). Hyperloop is an ultra high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported on autonomous electric pods traveling at 600+ miles per hour in a pressurized cabin. Similar to Loop, Hyperloop pods will transport between 8 and 16 passengers (mass transit), or a single passenger vehicle (The Boring Company).Loop and Hyperloop are similar, with the major difference being that Hyperloop draws a vacuum inside the tube to eliminate air friction. Loop is used for shorter routes, when there is no technical need to eliminate air friction (The Boring Company).

Self-driving trucks Well, not quite self-driving yet. Although the technology exists for autonomous trucks, it must still overcome several obstacles, including perfecting driverless software so it can operate in crowded urban environments, rather than only on wide-open highways where traffic flows freely. And vehicle regulators are still working out rules for autonomous driving permits and safety requirements. In the meantime, though, commercial transport companies should begin the process of revamping their trucking fleets with self-navigating equipment that can “learn” to drive from human truckers. Through the use of myriad sensors, an artificially intelligent vehicle can evaluate road conditions and observe how the human operator responds to various “exceptions” along the route. In the process, the soon-to-be-autonomous truck would collect anecdotal data about instinctual human driver proclivities, such as not turning left into a busy side street even though the GPS suggests it is the fastest route. Moreover, communicating with one another over the cloud, these vehicles can share what they have learned and amass more sophisticated knowledge about driving than could ever be programmed in a lab.

Ultimately, with this level of software and hardware development, these trucks should become better drivers than any individual human operator (Kletzel).Real-time logisticsIt will soon be possible to integrate trucks into logistics data across the entire supply chain. Advanced telematics will enable transportation companies, through cloud-based analytics, to track and monitor such factors as truck location, the health and fatigue of the driver, the temperature and barometric pressure of the freight, and so on. Telematics will also facilitate automated freight matching. The truck trailer, relying on sensors, will be able to determine available space and weight, route, and ETA, and transmit this information to software that can generate the most efficient and cost-effective scenarios for moving loads (Kletzel).

Taxi and ride-sharing apps One of the biggest tech trends of the past few years is the so-called ‘ride sharing’ economy. Apps like Uber, Lyft, and Gett aggregate drivers with their own cars and use an app to connect passengers to drivers. The industry has taken off all over the world, despite fights put up by taxi drivers and public transport authorities, and much in the same vein as ride sharing, the gig economy has also taken off (Asha).Other aggregator apps like UberEats, Deliveroo, Seamless, and Postmates have taken advantage of the same principle and use independent contractors to provide services to users via an app. As the gig economy expands from just driving passengers and delivering food, the opportunities to use app-based automotive aggregation seem endless (Asha).Expansion OpportunitiesWhile the more standard taxi-replacing driving app market is oversaturated, many companies are exploring other types of vehicles that can be used in this way. Uber has been trialing a helicopter chartering service called UberChopper, and Bill Busbice has seen success with HWY Pro, which applies this concept to logistics and trucking (Asha).

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