In the past 40 years, the price of solar energy has fallen by 250 times, in the face of an ever-increasing capacity to capture energy: this will lead us to genuine upheavals.
On the basis of the "energy race" which will lead us within 30 years to be independent of oil, gas and coal, transport will also experience a revolution becoming more efficient, sustainable and economic.
Here are the 5 transport revolutions that we will see from 2019 to 2024:
- Autonomous vehicles will first reach 2 billion kilometers traveled in the world, then 20 billion.
Waymo, the autonomous taxi of Alphabet (the "master" company of the creators of Google) has already reached 10 million kilometers traveled on American roads. Each of the 600 Waymo in service (trial) covers nearly 36000 kilometers per day.
The more they move, the more they learn
With more and more kilometers traveled, autonomous vehicles become more and more accurate and efficient. Last year GM Cruise (General Motors' autonomous vehicle project) improved its efficiency by 321%, reducing the need for human intervention to one intervention every 7000km traveled autonomously.
Autonomous taxis will officially enter service in the top 20 American metropolitan areas
In a statement linked to the balance sheet last quarter, Lyft announced the expansion of its partnership with Waymo to deploy 10 autonomous vehicles in the urban area of Phoenix, Arizona. This will mean that a user no longer has to join a test program, but can freely book his ride on a driverless taxi.
Strategic collaboration between car manufacturers, technology companies and transportation services will be crucial: Ford is working with Volkswagen, Nvidia with Mercedes and Toyota.
Convenience in terms of energy will also translate into precise choices in terms of transport, and in 5 years it will be more convenient to subscribe to a private transport service with autonomous electric vehicles than to buy (and maintain) a vehicle.
Car format boom
Today the average travel on an autonomous taxi is 90% of a passenger plus a driver: what need will there be for large vehicles like the present ones?
Small electric and autonomous modules with two or three seats and a boot will be a standard and will satisfy the vast majority of requests. Larger vehicles will affect mass public transport at low cost. Lightweight scooters, scooters (or the healthy, old walk) will cover the smallest journeys. By 2024 we will see the spread of an unimaginable range of formats for vehicles capable of covering every distance.
Light parcel deliveries with drones activated in at least one city
Wing, the Alphabet startup that uses drones for deliveries, was the first to obtain a license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate commercially.
Currently the service is ideal for light or urgent deliveries such as medicines, connectors or spare parts: the ever faster delivery times guaranteed by companies such as Amazon will find their maximum fulfillment.
Robotic car factories will lead the transition to new transportation, but without new human work
The production chain will continue to become shorter and more agile, guided by new mechanisms and software: if on the one hand this will involve a greater workforce on a creative level, the new levers will be balanced by a reduction in the current manual assembly work.