Transportation is going to change wildly, there’s no doubt about it. Roads are becoming too congested, airways convoluted and seaports are backing up. So changes need to be made. As the population grows and demands for resources and products rise, our transportation infrastructure must change. Thankfully, there are some very intelligent people working on it this very minute.
Department of Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, met with Google today to discuss the future of our transportation infrastructure and its technology. Foxx recognizes that America’s transportation needs a rethink and move forward.
“With the rate of change that’s happening in technology, we do also need to ask whether our processes, procedures, programs are keeping up,” said Foxx.
He recognizes that we’ve been through this before, and probably faced the same fear, when both rail and air travel were first developed. He’s absolutely right, this has happened before and we developed new systems to handle the larger scale transportation. Foxx says, “Maybe some of the fear dissipates, maybe we develop mechanisms to deal with some of the specific concerns people have — concerns like privacy and security — but you never can get there if you don’t start the conversation.”
One thing Foxx points out, which I believe makes a lot of sense, is automated networks. Automation can help tremendously in terms of easing congestion and making our roads and railways easier to use. With automated buses and trams, people could get to work without clogging up highways with commuting. That would also get those pesky “A to B” folks off the road, so us enthusiasts can drive on it with less interruption. I see Elon Musk’s Hyperloop idea becoming a big part of this.
It’s interesting to think of what the future might hold for our mass transportation. It’s no secret that our current system is somewhat dated, considering the level of technology that’s out there. As much as I fear a future without cars, automation does seem like a great idea for easing congestion.
People like Elon Musk can really make a difference in the private sector by creating paid services for mass transit that could get people off of motorways, out of airplanes and off of trains. I, personally, enjoy the automobile too much to want to take a Hyperloop-style air-tube to work, but as someone who has commuted 50 miles each way, I can perfectly understand the need for one.
Only time will tell what’s in store for the future of our transportation, but as Foxx says, we must start the conversation.