Technology is in the process of completely transforming all aspects of 4 industries – construction, medicine, retail, and transport – with a significant reduction in the need for human labor. Here is the impact on the Transport Industry:
- The return of electric-motorized vehicles (invented in 1884; by the early 1900s, nearly 40% of American cars were electric) will decimate the current car industry infrastructure (dealers, maintenance and repair, gas stations). Nearly 20 major countries have stated their intent to phase out combustion engines.
- The development of autonomous vehicles (cars, buses, trucks, trains, ships, and aircraft) will increase travel safety, while not requiring human control.
- Vehicle sharing/renting (Uber, Lyft) will reduce car ownership, especially in cities, which will reduce the need for parking spaces, freeing up large areas for pedestrian traffic. Garages will be turned into mini-apartments.
- High-speed inter-city travel (via trains or hyperloop tunnels) will enable long distance commuting.
- The time for Inter-continental travel will also be greatly reduced (hyperloop, space travel).
- Flying taxis will start operating in a few cities world-wide in 2020.
- Elon Musk has innovative businesses involving many of the above: Tesla (autonomous electric vehicles), Solar City (batteries), The Boring Company (tunnels for hyperloop travel), Space X (hyperloop, inter-continental travel).
The technologies involved in the above include electric motors, energy storage (electric car batteries), AI (autonomous operation), hyperloop (inter-city travel), drones (flying taxis), reusable space shuttles (inter-continental travel), virtual reality (travel booking)..
The number of jobs in the Transport Industry will be significantly reduced:
- Autonomous operation will eliminate the need for truck drivers and couriers (including pizza delivery drivers), and reduce the need for ship crews and aircraft pilots.
- Electric cars will reduce the need for car salespeople, distributorships, and mechanics.
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Alphabet’s Wing drones will soon be delivering FedEx and Walgreens packages in Christiansburg, Virginia (Courier/Drone - 2019-09 - Engadget)
Later in 2019, Alphabet’s drone delivery arm Wing will begin delivering goods for FedEx Express, Walgreens and a small retailer in Christiansburg, Virginia. The pilot program is to test the delivery of health care products, and fill last-mile delivery needs.
Purdue is the world's largest college campus to welcome autonomous food delivery to students (Transport/Courier - 2019-09 - Purdue University)
More than 30 robots have been launched at Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus, which is now the largest university campus in the world to have partnered with Starship Technologies to offer autonomous food delivery. The service works in conjunction with student meal plans, costing $1.99 per delivery.
Starship Technologies wants to deploy thousands of delivery robots at US colleges (Robotics - 2019-08 - ExtremeTech)
The robotics company, Starship Technologies, has financing to deploy many autonomous sidewalk delivery robots to 100 US college campuses. The 6-wheeled robots are about knee-high, and fully electric. Since 2018, they have been tested in over 100 cities in 20 different countries, rolled 350,000 miles, crossed 4 million streets, and made over 100,000 deliveries.
Amazon delivery robots are officially on the streets of California (Robotics - 2019-08 - ZDNet)
Amazon has officially rolled out its last-mile delivery robots in Irvine, Southern California. The delivery robot (‘Scout’) will autonomously ferry parcels from urban distribution points to Amazon Prime customers. Initially, the robots will be accompanied by humans.
A driverless pod will soon be delivering pizza in Texas (Robotics/Courier - 2019-06 - Digital Trends)
Domino’s, partnering with California-based tech startup Nuro, will use self-driving pods to deliver pizzas for a trial service in Houston, Texas late in 2019. The pod has no space for a human safety driver (but during the trial will be followed by an engineer in a vehicle traveling close behind).
Amazon' new Prime Air drone may be delivering packages within months (Couriers/Drone - 2019-06 - MIT Technology Review)
Amazon’s latest prototype of its Prime Air package delivery drone with improved energy efficiency and safety, will be delivering soon. The goal is to have fully-electric drones that can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds to customers in less than 30 minutes.
The rise and reign of Starship, the world’s first robotic delivery provider (Couriers/Robotics - 2019-05 - Digital Trends)
San Francisco’s Starship Technologies makes six-wheeled delivery robots, which have travelled a combined 200,000 miles, carried out 50,000 deliveries, and been tested in over 100 cities in 20 countries.
UPS has started using drones to deliver medical samples in the US (Drone - 2019-04 - MIT Technology Review)
UPS has started delivering medical samples, using drones built by Matternet, at the WakeMed hospital and campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. The drones can carry up to 5lbs pounds over <12.5 miles. This is the first revenue-generating drone delivery scheme to be approved by the FAA.
Autonomous package delivery to your doorstep (Courier- 2019-01 - TechCrunch)
Future concept: Autonomous van travels to a neighbourhood and releases robot dogs to deliver packages to doorsteps.
A self-driving car that delivers packages to homes and businesses (Transport/Courier- 2018-12 - Business Insider)
The company behind Walmart’s giant self-service kiosks has developed a self-driving car that delivers packages to homes and businesses. The car uses a robotic arm to place the packages in pickup lockers outside homes and businesses. Eventually, it will be able to deliver to mailboxes and pickup towers as well.
Alphabet’s Wing spinoff is about to launch drone deliveries in Finland (Transport/Courier- 2018-12 - MIT Technology Review)
Iceland to test the commercial viability of food deivery by drone (Transport/Courier- 2018-09 - IEEE Spectrum)
The world's first self-driving grocery delivery cars (Transport/Courier- 2018-08 - FastCompany)
Drones hauling a 20lb load for 500 miles and landing on a moving target (Transport/Courier - 2018-05 - The Edge)
Start-up Volans-i’s drones can travel up to 500 miles carrying 20 pounds of cargo at a top speed of 200 mph. They use fixed wings, along with vertical-take-off-and-landing systems, for flight, and both batteries and fuel for propulsion. They can take off or land on any flat 15×15 ft platform.