For centuries we grew up , worked , learnt , dated , married , lived , and grew old within 25 miles of where we were born . Then came the wheel and we moved ourselves a little further , the steam engine a little further , the automobile a lot further , the airplane a hell of a lot further , but then came the internet and the necessity to travel out to see the world ceased , because for the first time ever in our existence the world now comes to us anywhere anytime on any device and we can live , see , play , work , date , learn and anything else – anywhere at any time .
T his new digital space , has opened up new distribution models , new learning models , new food production models , new work models and the list goes on .
In my keynote to Intelligent Transport Systems Australia I posited that our need for transportation has irrevocably changed and is currently , and for the foreseeable future , going to continue to be challenged , reshaped and re-imagined .
The first of these influences is the internet itself , but other change agents abound and some of them include :
Big Data which will increasingly allow us to understand what ’ s happening on our roads , rails , seas and skies and to make swift purposeful decisions based on up to the minute data and predictive artificial intelligence inputs , we ’ ve already seen Qantas and other transport companies switch over to technology intermediaries to assist their staff in making timely and “ perfect ” decisions .
Internet of things and connected smart
cities will over the next years virtually connect all of our vehicles , traffic and cityscape objects allowing each to share with the other information about driving intent , road conditions and what ’ s ahead . In the very near future buses may not work to a strict timetable and set of stops , but instead you ’ ll be able to virtually hail it to come to get you , rather than you going to get it .
Autonomous cars within 10 years will be a serious road contender with an expectation that in 2025 1 in 4 new cars sold will be capable of being put into auto pilot , when you don ’ t wish to drive yourself . We ’ re already seeing this used in the mining industry with huge trucks being driven remotely through the outback of Australia to and from the mines and depots . Daimler announced last week their soon to be released platooning auto pilot trucks capable of finding other trucks going in the same direction and joining them in an aerodynamic , sleek and safe convoy .
3D printers will bespoke produce goods , spare parts , clothing , food and lots more in our homes , in our retail outlets and wherever we are , leading to an eventual downturn in the need to transport goods to warehouses , distributors and retailers for storage for later hopeful consumer purchase .
The Sharing Economy and changing consumer demands is also altering the need for transportation . Car ownership is being disrupted by car sharing and car ride schemes . The growing cultural desire of having use of products , homes , offices , clothes , pets , furniture , cars , and other objects rather than