In the last 40 years, the price of solar energy has dropped 250 times, in the face of an ever higher capacity to capture energy: this will lead us to real upheavals.
On the basis of the "energy race" that will lead us to be independent from oil, gas and coal within 30 years, transport will also experience a revolution by becoming more efficient, sustainable and economical.
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 "matrix" company of Google's creators) has already reached 10 million kilometers on American roads. Each of the 600 Waymo in service (test) drives 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 matched with last quarter's financial statements, Lyft announced the expansion of its partnership with Waymo to deploy 10 autonomous vehicles in the Phoenix, Arizona urban area. 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.
The convenience in terms of energy will translate into precise choices also in terms of transport, and within 5 years it will be cheaper to subscribe to a private transport service with autonomous electric vehicles than to buy (and maintain) an own 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 drive the transition to new transportation, but without new human labor
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.