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The shift to a decarbonised transportation sector
Understanding the shift towards Transport Decarbonization
The transport industry has built a global network of planes, trains, roads to bring together people and goods. Technology is in large part responsible for such developments as the infrastructure that helps us connect is more reliable, faster, and cheaper to build.
This article will explore what the transport industry is all about, why it uses technology, and how it implements the latest technology to achieve its goals.
When you think of life-changing technological innovations in the transport industry, what do you first think about ? Whether it's commercial airlines, Henry Ford’s Model T, or electric cars, all those answers are correct. All these technologies completely upended the transport industry’s status quo and have had a lasting impact on how we get around.
This sector is now focusing on aerospace travel and autonomous vehicles as technologies like AI, data science, manufacturing, and deep learning are developing quickly. The enormous potential of these technologies made the transport industry one of the fastest-growing and highly-contested fields in the world.
Thousands of startups are competing to create the “next big thing” as things like the Hyperloop, Underground tunnels, aerospace, and autonomous vehicles are becoming more popular.
An interesting fact about the transport industry is that most of the things being transported aren’t humans, their goods and products that travel the globe are to be sold and assembled. A large part of the sector focuses on building bigger ships, larger airplanes, and bigger roads to make up for the increasing demand and to be able to transport more resources to everyone.
Now that we understand what the industry is all about, let’s take a look at why technology is important to the industry.
As today’s consumers are expecting instant deliveries, deadlines are becoming shorter, people also expect to move faster as everything seems to be moving quickly these days.
One aspect of the industry is to introduce technology that helps goods and individuals travel much faster, the aforementioned Hyperloop is an example of this integration. By traveling in vacuum tubes, the hyperloop aims to transport people across the land at speeds superior to the speed of sound.
This also encapsulates more powerful jet engines that make planes go faster, denser oils that can power motors more efficiently and result in higher speeds.
In the current state of things, we strive to use fewer resources and preserve them. One aspect of technology is to develop motors, systems, and architectures that use fewer resources to achieve the same results if not better.
This could be the refinement of a design to make it more aerodynamic and make it use less electricity or oil. This could be the development of new oil that is denser and provides more energy per liter.
This theme is, nowadays, the main focus of the industry as global warming and Co2 levels seem to keep rising.
It is also good to have in mind that the transport industry is amongst the most polluting industries.
As technology makes us go faster with fewer resources and as the world population is increasing, it seems like we are bound to use our infrastructures a lot more.
A large sector of the industry is responsible for the development of more reliable infrastructures, this means creating systems that work in most conditions, independent of the weather.
This set of innovations relies on new materials that are more sturdy, aren’t affected by temperature or pressure, and are all-around more reliable. With it, engineers build roads that last longer, planes that can fly despite there being snow, ships that can travel across the sea despite ferocious waves, and cars that break down less often.
This sector also includes a bunch of electronics that are intended to warn you of a potential problem. This helps you prepare in advance and contributes to making our systems more reliable.
Now that we understand why the transport industry is looking at technology, let’s go over some of the implementations of the industry.
The term refers to the IoT or internet of things. The aim is to integrate electronic components, mainly sensors, and processors, to make infrastructures “smart”. This includes smart roads and automated parking.
Sensors can be implemented in a large variety of ways and provide users with a lot of relevant information. Smart roads could tell you directly the state of traffic on a road, if there’s an accident and if people are going too fast. Automated parking is already being implemented and tells you how many spots are left before entering the parking.
Virtual reality or VR enables us to simulate an environment. In the transport industry, people are using it to improve road safety.
Future drivers can experiment with a driving simulation where they aren’t at risk and don’t threaten anyone on the road.
With it, they can get a sense of what it feels like to drive on the streets. The technology can help instructors teach by simulating various conditions and environments, from a small country road at midday to a crowded city street at midnight.
Most of these simulations are 360 degrees and focus on particularly troubling situations. Such systems are already put in place an estimate that they’ve reduced training costs by 50% while improving driver reaction time by 20%.
The transport industry, in full bloom, benefits from technology by creating faster, more reliable systems that use less resources. This can be seen in the recent development and use of smart infrastructures and virtual reality. The implementations are plentiful and the introduction of technology to the transport industry is still only beginning.