Strategic Innovation for Society: Transport long term evolution
The author introduces a summary of the foreseen evolution, in the long term, of transport technology and its impacts and benefits for the society, based in the background of already covered and ongoing milestones, and in the existing state of the art, to perform the vision of its future.
Driving the future personal transport: Automatic Navigation Vehicles (ANV).
Do you know how our vehicles will be driven in the mean/long term? Simply without hands; There will be a system taking care, automatically, of our vehicle driving towards the selected destination: a kind of unmanned driven vehicle.
How is it possible?
Through the combining of different technologies, currently existing, it would be possible to carry out this ANV driving; basically the system could be based in the integration of a general guiding through satellite (GPS / Galileo system) and another one onboard (using the related proximity sensors for instance by radar / laser) under the correspondent computer control.
Covered milestone background:
- Well known are the GPS for cars, currently used, that introduced the driving guide help.
- The existing proximity sensors for parking and cruiser control.
- There are ongoing system tests, introducing the technology for automatic car parking. (update note: available a few years after the writng of this article)
- Existing tests for automatic driving (unmanned) are being carried out within testing and controlled environment.
The personal aerial transport through combining cheap sources of energy (Hydrogen cells?), the massive production of aerial vehicles and applying the automatic navigation mentioned above (ANV), would make possible a personal transport media, extended at affordable cost and easy to use.
How would it be possible to manage and control the aerial traffic when instead of some hundreds of planes flying at the same time, there would be some millions of ANV? : It would be necessary a distributed control by vehicles and establishing predetermined air-roads that might be at different height levels even overlapped or parallel to the existing terrestrial roads but minimizing its curves.
The messenger bees.
Concerning the future messenger for all types of mailing, and because it would be possible the automatic navigation for any vehicle, also for the very light one like the dedicated to document and small packet mailing; this could be carried out through small elements like the aero-model and utilizing the same air-ways and Automatic navigation technology (ANV).
Covered milestone background:
- At the end of year 2003 one aero-model plane crossed the Atlantic Ocean using an automatic guiding based in GPS.
- It exists different planes with unmanned navigation (UAV: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) within the military industry, for exploring (and attack) missions.
- Prototypes of personal jets easy to use (flying car likely) are announced on publications for availability within coming years (2009-2015).
Impacts and benefits of ANV.
The transport through using the automatic navigation implies an extraordinary jump within its evolution considering the effects through different ways: social, technological, economical …
The thousands of lives that might be saved in each country, eradicating/ minimizing the traffic accidents, must be sufficient impulse for its introduction. In addition to it, do you imagine how fast an ANV can road and how large the traffic management can be optimized when its components are under control without the un-efficiency of human driving?
This new technology would spread the limits that the current transport imposes to different human conditions. Do you imagine the benefits of living in the desired place and taking much less time in transportation?
Other important social benefits are related to the logistics in general and specifically the distribution of humanitarian help within needed areas.
Beside the social benefits the economical activity would be boosted through the expanding of the related industry and technology sectors.
Evolution of aerospace industry.
Obviously the evolution of the current aerospace industry towards the personal aerial vehicle (mass consumption) implies an extremely important change that has some analogy to the already experienced by the computer industry within its evolution from the big corporations/governments exclusive mainframe, to the personal computer and the microcomputer. Do you remember the cases of enterprises as HP, IBM; the Asia manufacturers…. And who will be likely the “first Ford” introducing the mass aerial transport media?.