Transportation is one of the most overlooked aspects of economic progress. Even a quick look at current transportation systems reveals that little innovation has been applied in this sector. With that said, there are forward-thinking people who are laying the groundwork for tomorrow’s transportation systems today.
Mass transportation systems, like trains, play a key role in minimizing traffic and making commutes more efficient. Transporting thousands of people each day requires a lot of resources. In light of this, Maglev Train Technology is seen as an important innovation in rail transportation. Unlike their traditional counterparts, Maglev trains use electromagnets which allow them to literally levitate over the tracks. Levitation eliminates friction. Because of this, they use considerably less fuel, making them cheaper to operate and kinder to the environment.
Bike Share Programs
Sometimes, the best solutions aren’t always the most high-tech. In fact, they can be downright simple. Take bike share programs, for example. Implementation is as simple as setting up several bike stations around a town or city. Users pay a nominal fee to ride the bikes from station to station. Since bikes are smaller than cars, they can weave through traffic faster, especially if the locality has designated bike lanes. Furthermore, it uses zero fossil fuels, making it 100% emission free.
The power of the Internet has made once “dumb” objects from cellphones to refrigerators “smart.” Today, even roads are about to get a lot smarter. In recent years, there has been a call to embed Internet technologies onto the country’s roadways. Such roads will have sensors to detect the number of vehicles passing through. This information is then transmitted to drivers so they can better decide which routes to take. Hence, smart roads can help decongest streets and make daily commutes less agonizing. Less time on the roads also results in less carbon emissions.
Luminous Road Lines
Conceived by Studio Roosegaarde in the Netherlands, this deceptively simple solution uses a gel-like, photoluminescent coating to line the streets and safely guide motorists. The gel will be charged by good old sunlight, and can reportedly stay lit for up to 10 hours. As such, it can help cut down on the energy cities and towns use for traditional roadside lighting.
Innovation doesn’t always mean tearing out the playbook. As we have illustrated, sometimes you just need to look at what exists and find ways to make better use of it. Not only is this approach effective, it’s also also cost-efficient.