The human population on Earth is growing quickly. A recent report by the United Nations projected an additional billion people will live on Earth in 2030 and the population will hit 9.8 billion in 2050. Just think for a minute what that means. More people on Earth means more housing construction, the need for more food and more cars on the road and more potential for conflict. However, with those main points in mind, urban and city planners and transportation administrations are already considering how transportation technology can be used to keep people safe.
When you think about the future of transportation, you might imagine jetpacks and hover boards. But, actually, those already exist. And, though the technology is still relatively new, the devices have not filled our skies with flying commuters. See, transportation technology needs to work safely and be regulated by usage laws. In addition, the public and safety needs of new transportation devices must outweigh personal interest and enjoyment.
Let us take a look at some of the transportation technology being created and tested now that have the potential to make a big difference in our crowded world.
How Transportation of the Future Will Improve Public Safety
1. Self-Driving or Autonomous Vehicles
Self-driving cars have received a fair bit of news coverage lately. Especially for the accidents they have caused. That may not seem like a way to make roads safer. But remember, these vehicles are being tested. Currently, there are no completely driverless vehicles are on the road.
During testing, a human is always able to take control of the vehicle. Coupled with physical sensors, these vehicles will be equipped with AI/deep learning systems that mean the vehicle will “learn” more about driving every time it is on the road.
Self-driving vehicles may do more for commercial and delivery services than for personal drivers. These vehicles can be planned and routed for the fastest and most economical routes. In addition, they could drastically reduce the number of overworked, tired truck drivers on the road. That is also true for reducing the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers.
2. Delivery Drones
If removing human-driven commercial vehicles from the road can improve safety, imagine what removing commercial vehicles from the road entirely could do. Delivery drones are being investigated by package-delivery companies as a way to make the delivery process more efficient. These drones can also make an environmental impact. When people live in rural areas, delivery vans have to travel great distances round trip from distribution site to delivery points. Drones can make the deliveries much greener.
Delivery drones will need to be regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States. The FAA will consider safety and security issues.
The hyperloop technology is just now beginning development. It is a train that rides on airless tubes and can travel about 800 miles an hour. In America, that equates to being able to travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just thirty minutes.
These trains add on to the technology of the maglev trains being planned in Asia. Those trains work by magnetic force and travel about 310 miles per hour. A maglev train being built in Japan between Nagoya and Tokyo will transport passengers over 200 miles in just forty minutes. These high-speed passenger trains open up the roadways, reduce air pollution and decrease the number of accidents.
Cities need public safety and transportation officials who are future-focused. If you can imagine yourself researching and implementing these new transportations technologies, check out the Bachelor of Science in Public Safety and Emergency Management degree at Grand Canyon University or click the Request More Information button on this page.
- “World Population Projected to Reach 9.7 Billion by 2050 | UN DESA Department of Economic and Social Affairs.” United Nations, United Nations, www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/2015-report.html.