Technology has a big impact on our daily lives, even when we don’t consciously think about it as significant. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries have survived and even developed thanks to the use of technological solutions and innovations. Despite the fact that the topic of the coronavirus pandemic seems to be expiring from year to year, technological advancements in many industries are still ongoing. One of them is transportation – what will the impact of technology on this industry look like in 2022?
Blockchain technology secures the logistics industry
Thanks to the wide range of the use of blockchain technology in various industries, nowadays it has also a huge impact on transport. Its popularity has been growing rapidly in recent years. Since the supply chains grow and become more and more global, the number of stakeholders and processes increase as well. The business agreements have become extremely complex and difficult to monitor. Here comes the support of blockchain – it records transactions between all parties and eliminates the need for intermediaries to verify and coordinate them.
Moreover, the opportunity of this technology to provide operational safety and transparency, together with its ability to record and encrypt large amounts of valuable information, enables conducting safe logistics operations. This solution is used by the most popular logistics companies, like i.e. DHL. It helps to prevent documentation frauds or effectively hinders hacker attacks on databases and even product thefts. Another potential of using blockchain in logistics is the concept of adopting Smart Contracts and cryptocurrencies as viable payments. It’s a big chance for new services and business models in logistics in the near future.
Public transport and self-driving buses
A brand new concept of using technology in public transportation is the idea of self-driving buses. Although the concept is still improving and developing, it’s one of the most promising options in mass transit. A few years ago, Mercedes Benz-maker Daimler, unveiled its first driverless vehicle for public transport – Future Bus. Its first test journey was 20 km long, from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to the nearby town Haarlem. The vehicle was able to drive along suitable routes, communicate with traffic lights to cross junctions, and automatically stop at stations, using cameras, radars, and GPS systems. Although it was intended to be driverless, Dutch regulations required to have a bus driver at a wheel on a board.
The new technology of driverless buses has developed over these years. In April 2022 in the UK, the first full-size autonomous self-driving buses started preparing to hit the public roads in Scotland. The buses are marked by the Society of Automotive Engineers as Level 4 (out of 5), which means they can drive themselves under specific conditions without driver control. The level of automation of these means of transport is very high. Even though the bus doesn’t need a driver, it needs an operator of the system. There will be specially trained Autonomous Bus Professionals hired to monitor the system, and also the Bus Captain who will be circulating around the bus and answering the passengers’ questions. The buses have been modified with the addition of a second set of steering and braking systems, designed to act as a backup for increased safety. The initiative is a big step in the development of autonomous commercial vehicles.
If you want to find out how Applover contributed to digitalizing public transportation, check out our case study from the project with our client from the public sector of transport!
Drones used in Transport and Logistics
Although the use of cargo UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) is mainly associated with the logistics industry sector, the potential for using them in many different areas is very large. In the last few years, the idea that caught the attention of the public was the competition to launch passenger drones. The world’s first passenger drone which is capable of carrying a person into the air while it drives has been unveiled in China, and made by a Chinese tech company, Eheng. The science-fiction dream has become a reality. The dream of flying over traffic is now closer to reality! The vehicle is operated by an automated flight system. It can be used not only to avoid traffic jams on the ground but also in emergency rescue situations, transport patients to the hospital, or for tourism activities, flying from one island to another. After setting a flight plan, all that passengers have to do is to give 2 commands: take-off and land on their tablet inside the vehicle. The UAV designed for passengers is able to fly with a maximum speed of 100km/h. However, we have to wait another couple of years for them to start carrying passengers on a daily basis.
They have also developed in the logistics industry lately. For now, they are mostly used by transport and logistics companies for cargo activities and deliveries (for example distributing parcels or medicaments in overpopulated areas), for delivering light, and emergency products – UAV express service, or for warehouse operations (from inventory management all the way to security and surveillance).
Benefits of IoT for the truck transport in 2022
IoT technologies started being adopted by the truck transport industry in the last decade and nowadays it’s spreading all the way. Over the last years, the usage of the Internet of Things in trucks has developed from different sensors and devices measuring geographic location or temperature up to real-time access to tracking information considered now a standard within the industry. IoT apps are used not only to monitor freight but also to increase the level of safety of the truck transport business. Thanks to the solution of a digital tachograph, introduced into the truck transport across Europe, the managers of truck drivers are able to supervise them based on real-time data. They are able now to observe the distance traveled, or time and speed – to ensure they’re following the rules of driving and rest time. Previously this information was written by the drivers manually on paper and wasn’t reliable enough. Other IoT devices contribute to better safety by collecting data on the physical conditions of vehicles, including the engine and tires. Since the trucking businesses are linking fleets with IoT, they rely on stable connectivity and real-time data the technologies provide. It helps the transport companies to maintain their service safe, reliable, and efficient.
Impact of IoT on daily transport and safety
This is, for example, GPS, which made planning our trips a piece of cake. Vehicle-mounted sensors that prevent accidents or help avoid bumps are another noticeable impact on our daily transport and safety. Other factors related to IoT that improve our safety are, for example, sensors mounted in seat belts, which can even track the state of sobriety or fatigue of the driver. If the driver fails the sensor tests, the vehicle will not move on.
Ride-sharing services trend
Recently a trend of ride-sharing apps has become more and more popular. The most common service provider on the market in this field is Uber. The initiative itself is intended to be eco-friendly since many people are giving up the idea of owning a car in a favor of this mode of transport. In the year 2022, we can notice a significant growth in the number of electric car-sharing fleets. To improve the customer experience and satisfy their needs, Uber and other ride-sharing companies have to enlarge their fleet with hybrid cars. The global ride-sharing market is very prosperous at this moment, it’s predicted to grow from USD 85.8 billion in 2021 up to USD 185.1 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 16.6%!
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Digital technologies make the transportation safe and efficient
Technology has obviously a great impact on the future transport and the way people are moving from place to place. All of that to make our lives easier, faster, and safer and our businesses maximally efficient! What will transport management look like in a couple of years? Maybe the passenger drones will become our daily routine and the public transport sector will be dominated by autonomous buses and trains? We’ll see in a couple of years but the technological progress will not slow down for sure!