It would probably be a bridge too far to think that the Transformers are going to appear on our motorways any time soon. An even further stretch to see a sentient being like Herbie pootle down the high street. However, the automotive industry is changing, and technology advances could create a very different traffic ecosystem in the future.
With almost every third person in the world owning a smartphone and it’s estimated that “The connected devices universe is expected to rise from current estimates of less than 5 billion to 80 billion by 2025*”. This increase will fast-forward car communications, which in turn will be the platform to build future digital services.
Combine this with the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI), with machines being able to think logically and make decisions in real time. Add this technology to four wheels and you’ll find vehicles that can recognise their owners’ voices to optimise their journey, for their own preferences, in real time. Slowly the fiction is becoming more plausible.
Automation will be the first step toward growth and will be determined initially by legislation of autonomous vehicles. If, or when, this happens the impact could resonate far and wide. Think now about those jobs that could be completed autonomously, e.g. lorry or taxi drivers could be a thing of the past, and what about the jobs that could be created by the advances in technology, e.g. engineers, consultants, transport modellers, project managers etc?
On a scale of smart, the evolution of autonomous vehicles could mean that they talk not only to each other, but to smart roads/motorways, parking garages, in fact it could change the face of transport planning and even town planning.
Safety is still the primary concern of in-vehicle technology progress, if danger was sensed (e.g. in the form of pedestrians) especially in more densely populated towns and cities, it would need to act fast and slow the car down. The technology could come into its own in biggest town and cities, in terms of car-sharing and e-hailing taxis etc. If the technological advances carry on the same trajectory, they will likely be able to provide the services more efficiently (and more economically) by predicting demand, geographical spikes, down time and even parking availability.
Parking is another key area that smarter tech will impact upon. With data accessible for live availability, peer-to-peer parking and the monetisation of available private or public parking could see growth especially if users can not only find spaces but pay for parking on their smartphones.
Autonomy is not enough
If technology is really going to drive wholescale change, the link between smartphone connectivity and autonomous technologies need to come together. The scenario improves when you see the synergy between the two – the improvements in road safety, the convenience of route planning and parking, the avoidance of congestions – all tailored to individual and community needs.
The intelligent transport ecosystem brings with it a wealth of opportunity for individuals and businesses – not only in terms of usability for the future but as a viable career path for those technology minded individuals. We have already started to see growth in the roles available in this sector and as the technology advances, this can only continue.
To get on board with this exciting and developing sector, call Ryan Clark on +44(0)1202 888986 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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