Forbes Looks at Where Ground Transportation is Going

V2V and V2X

Forbes Mag­a­zine pre­sent­ed its take on 10 fac­tors to watch shap­ing the future of trans­porta­tion…

1. 200-mile-range elec­tric vehi­cles – Bat­tery elec­tric vehi­cles are in the 100 mile range. Tes­la Motors is open­ing that up with its Mod­el S, and that’s expect­ed to be fol­lowed by com­peti­tors pret­ty soon.
2. High-speed inter­ci­ty rail – This has worked well in Japan and France for many years. There are projects under­way in Cal­i­for­nia and the North­east Cor­ri­dor, but the US is still far behind.
3. Pod cars – GM has a pro­to­type two-seater called the Elec­tric Net­worked-Vehi­cle (ENV) that dri­ves auto­mat­i­cal­ly and comes when you call it via iPhone. The cars are being devel­oped with GM’s Chi­nese part­ner, Shang­hai Auto­mo­tive Indus­try.
4. Com­put­er-dri­ven cars – The Ford Fusion, Lin­coln MKS, and Lexus LS460 can already park them­selves auto­mat­i­cal­ly. Adap­tive cruise con­trol is being deployed. Lots of this new and advanced tech­nol­o­gy is in the works – they just need legal and con­sumer con­fi­dence con­cerns resolved.
5. Super mini-cars – Toyota’s five door super-mini con­cept FT-Bh (Future Toy­ota B-seg­ment Hybrid) weighs less than 1,764 pounds with emis­sions 50% low­er than the aver­age pro­duc­tion mod­el in its class. And it gets 112 miles per gal­lon.
6. Car shar­ing pro­grams – This is start­ing to take off in cities like Seat­tle, Austin, and Van­cou­ver, BC.
7. Space tourism – While Elon Musk’s SpaceX has opened the door, oth­er com­pa­nies are on the way such as Richard Branson’s Vir­gin Galac­tic, along with XCOR Aero­space and Armadil­lo Aero­space.
8. More car­bon fiber – Light vehi­cles are a major part of meet­ing increas­ing mileage stan­dards. Car­bon fiber is lead­ing the way, along with alu­minum, tita­ni­um, and stripped-down sys­tems in engines and trans­mis­sions. Car­bon fiber-rein­forced plas­tic also plays a role in low­er-end mod­els.
9. Real-time tran­sit ser­vices – Pub­lic trans­porta­tion and spe­cial­ized dri­ving ser­vices, such as for the elder­ly, will be able to adjust auto­mat­i­cal­ly accord­ing to inclement weath­er, sched­ule infrac­tions, and traf­fic con­ges­tion. Small com­pa­nies are tak­ing infor­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies and apply­ing it to trans­porta­tion and it will have major impli­ca­tions, says trans­porta­tion expert Daniel Sper­ling, direc­tor of the Insti­tute of Trans­porta­tion Stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia.
10. Con­ges­tion pric­ing – Traf­fic has its impact on cities – from air con­di­tion, health, and safe­ty. We may be see­ing things like auto­mat­ed charges for dri­vers dur­ing peak hours, on major road­ways, or as con­ges­tion increas­es.

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