Our hyper-urbanised life of the 21st century will rely heavily on urban transportation. Individual lifestyles, flexible work rhythms and unconstrained leisure time activities all encourage transportation. On top of that, think of all the cargo that needs to enter the city for us to eat, drink, work in our offices and live our private lives. That leaves no conclusion other than that the future of transportation will rely on super-intelligence in vehicles, control systems and planning tools. That was the main premise of the Dutch foresight project “Transportation of tomorrow starts today”. Let's go deeper into the super-intelligence of transport systems and find out what it could do to the future of transportation.
Super-intelligence implies that the intelligence of the system as a whole reaches higher levels, because of the integration of intelligence in all the components of the system. Intelligent vehicles, an intelligent infrastructure, intelligent control system, intelligent commuters, intelligent cargo and intelligent enablers of information. Following the Dutch foresigt study, these are the components of an intelligent transportation system.
In super-intelligent vehicles there is no need of a driver. The intelligence makes it really autonomous. Not only drives the vehicle by itself, it also responds to signals from other vehicles or the infrastructure. This is the future that Google car presents us. A partial solution where drivers could interfer, would be steering a car by using only your eyes. EyeDriver does that for you. It can drive autonomous, but can also be steered by gaze control. BrainDriver is a bit of the same concept, but then thinking about a direction is already sufficient. Driverless public transport is already very much mainstream. Think about airport shuttles and metro trains. Passenger airlines without human pilots are also a real possibility, just like the military drones.
An intelligent infrastructure communicates to other aspects of the transport system. LED’s in the road surface providing warnings about incidents, self healing concrete that enhances life span of roads and bridges, bike lanes that converts sunlight into electricity.
Intelligent control systems use real-time information to direct traffic streams and respond to vehicles and everything else in order to find solutions for traffic situations. Smart grids can communicate with vehicles to bring electricity to those cars and bikes which have the biggest need.
When cars, roads and control systems become more intelligent, the human commuter cannot stay behind. Augmented reality, like Google glass, can present alternative routes, when traffic jams are expected. The smart agents of such apps can be customized to know a person’s preferences and respond to their daily habits.
Even cargo can become more intelligent and communicate about its destination. Intelligent cargo enables packages to interact with their surroundings and make context aware decisions. In this way the planning process of cargo freight happens autonomously.
For all these forms of intelligence, processing huge amount of data is crucial. When the computational power of computer processors goes up, their will be endless new opportunities for artificial intelligence. Current ideas for augmented reality and the many other concepts discussed here, are all just waiting for the fast and tiny processors of tomorrow’s smart devices. The smart cities of the future could embrace this new technology and we might see unprecendented smooth and autonomous transportation.
Read more of our blogs at: Futurista
Essays and comments posted in World Future Society and THE FUTURIST magazine blog portion of this site are the intellectual property of the authors, who retain full responsibility for and rights to their content. For permission to publish, distribute copies, use excerpts, etc., please contact the author. The opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Future Society takes no stand on what the future will or should be like.
Free Email Newsletter
To sign up for Futurist Update, our free monthly email newsletter, enter your email in the box below and click Save.
We are less than 10 days away from the planned climate summit of 125 nations taking place in New York City on September 23rd. So I thought it would be useful to take a quick climate change snapshot, rating the efforts of individual nations. That made me wonder - how are nations being measured? What constitutes a success? Who leads the pack? Who is failing?
Countries seem to be getting together to develop free trade zones and global trade agreements. This trade liberalization over the last few decades is considered to be a "good thing" overall. World trade has increased to levels 32 times greater than in 1950. In parallel while international trade has risen so has atmospheric carbon with CO2 concentrations rising from 310 parts per million (ppm) to today's 396 ppm. Is there a correlation? Do carbon emissions rise when international trade increases?
The number of cases reported is well over 4,300 now, with more than 2,300 having succumbed to the virus. Liberia has reported 2,046 cases with 1,224 deaths as of yesterday. If things continue, this situation may lead to the collapse of the nation.
In case you missed it, the rover in Gale Crater on Mars has achieved another milestone, having traversed across rough terrain with minimal damage to its delicate wheels and now sits at the base of Mount Sharp, where it will begin its ascent. What's on its agenda?
Poland-based Omni3D is a 3-D printing manufacturer that has come up with a wind turbine, the AirEnergy3D, that operates in low wind conditions and generate 300 watts of continuous power. That's enough to keep a laptop computer, several smartphones and a couple of light bulbs burning. The company has a Kickstarter campaign on the go and have raised the target amount they requested and some from numerous pledges.
I have a personal interest in the body's autoimmune response. I'm allergic to mango and before that showed an allergic response to wasp stings. And then there are much more serious autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and lupus. This brings me to the subject of this story, the discovery by researchers from the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol, of a way to stop the body's autoimmune response from attacking healthy tissue.
Expandiverse Technology includes Governances so groups can turn problems into opportunities to reach shared goals. This chapter and the next shows what a Governance is, and how different kinds of people might use it to achieve a larger goal — healthy, natural food.
ITER is the multibillion dollar, multinational fusion reactor project being built in France. It is over budget and yet to be finished. Others, therefore, are seeking a simpler, less expensive hot fusion solution.