Five Advanced Transportation Innovations and Where they Stand

While you may be burned out read­ing anoth­er arti­cle on dri­ver­less cars and advanced trans­porta­tion tech­nolo­gies, it’s a good idea to stay cur­rent on where it’s all head­ed…..

Hyper­loop: The 800 mpg train trav­el­ing through air­less tubes and ini­ti­at­ed by Tes­la Motors CEO Elon Musk is more than a pipe dream. Musk’s design scheme was hatched in August, but the tech­nol­o­gy is in devel­op­ment. An expe­ri­enced team who played a role in the SpaceX space trans­port com­pa­ny (also head­ed by Musk) is now assem­bling a team of devel­op­ers to make it hap­pen.

Maglev trains: “Mag­net­ic lev­i­ta­tion” trains are already in oper­a­tion in Shang­hai and Japan; South Korea is build­ing one for Incheon Air­port, and Chi­na has a sec­ond maglev in devel­op­ment. A mag­net­ic force lifts and pro­pels the train using a min­i­mal amount of. The trains whisk pas­sen­gers along at up to 310 miles per hour. The main issue with maglev trains is the high cost of devel­op­ment.

Autonomous vehi­cles: Google con­tin­ues lead­ing the charge. It now uses a fleet of about 24 Lexus RX450h vehi­cles that have logged a total of about 500,000 miles on Cal­i­for­nia roads. There are many pro­to­types already on the road, espe­cial­ly those being test­ed by Google in San Fran­cis­co. Neva­da has already cre­at­ed laws that make them legal to use in cities, includ­ing Las Vegas.

Smart cars: Small­er, smarter cars are being designed to deal with urban trans­porta­tion prob­lems. Many automak­ers, includ­ing BMW and Nis­san. already offer com­pact elec­tric cars. Oth­er small cars will be used in car­shar­ing and will be able to take up much less park­ing space of garages are designed effi­cient­ly.

Urban trans­port pods: Pod vehi­cles that seat one per­son and move on their own over a pre-described route are being test­ed about 45 miles north­west of Lon­don. The pas­sen­ger inter­acts with the pod using a touch­screen in the wind­shield. You swipe to select a des­ti­na­tion, and you can read the dai­ly news, check your e-mail or even play a video game dur­ing the trip.

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