The future of transport

Could the next taxi you hail be a drone, or will it be a self-driving vehicle you order from your smartphone?

Though this scenario is still some way off, the first unmanned taxi drone had a successful maiden run in Dubai last September.

Future of transport
Transport of the future

Whatever the mode of transport, rapidly advancing technologies are changing our perceptions of how we will travel in the future.

Today, connected cars deploy diverse artificial intelligence applications, which will ultimately enable vehicles to become fully autonomous. It remains to be seen whether we will own our cars in the future, or if we will ride hail and ride share our way around town, as automobile manufacturers rethink business models.

As cities become smarter, infrastructure is becoming more intelligent. This is important for growing and aging populations which will rely on public transport more than ever before.

Faced with the need for greater public transport capacity, increased traffic congestion and pollution, transport authorities around the world are using new technologies to find solutions. For example, the digitalization of railway networks is enabling conflict-free schedules to be created more flexibly, the ability to adapt capacity to passenger requirements (peak and off-peak times), while saving costs and delivering more efficient, reliable services on the same train tracks.

However, at the same time, transport manufacturers and providers must ensure personal data privacy and the security of all their connected systems and devices. This will be vital to the success of self-driving vehicles.

This issue of e-tech looks at the status and future of vehicle communications and automated driving from business, technology and regulation perspectives, covering the role of connectivity, cyber security, artificial intelligence and more. It also examines what cyber security measures are being taken for modern railway networks.