Featured Modern Innovations Are Changing the Way We Commute

Modern Innovations Are Changing the Way We Commute

Modern Innovations Are Changing the Way We Commute: Commuting is one of the most frustrating aspects of modern life. Swelling city center property prices force people to live further from their workplaces while creaking legacy infrastructure leads to bloated commute times.

Thankfully, technology is helping to improve the situation. New innovations are bringing efficiencies and convenience to our journeys.

1. Parking Apps and Pay-by-Phone Meters

Parking can be a hassle, but these innovations are making it easier to find and pay for spaces. They also help reduce congestion, which is good for commuters and the environment.

The days of lugging around change or running back to the meter when it’s about to expire are behind us. Now drivers can wave their mobile phones over enabled parking meters to make payments via a smartphone app or by using voice-activated commands.

In addition to allowing drivers to avoid paying fines, these apps also give cities more data about how and where people park. And they can leverage that information to develop more effective pricing and management strategies.

2. Express Lanes/HOT Lanes

Many communities use managed lanes — or HOT lanes — on their freeways to reduce congestion and encourage ridesharing by offering vehicles that do not meet high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) requirements access to fast, traffic-free travel. These lanes typically offer drivers travel-time savings or reliable trips and generate revenue to help offset infrastructure costs.

These lanes are usually converted HOV lanes or adjacent to them and allow single- and lower-occupancy vehicles to pay a variable fee for lane access. In most cases, the lane speeds are higher than in general-purpose lanes.

3. Ride-Sharing Services

Ride-sharing services are a great way to reduce congestion and save on fuel. But they also require a lot of drivers and can crowd roads with vehicles that would otherwise be on their routes. That’s why it’s important to use a service that optimizes route sharing with the right amount of cars and minimizes energy and emissions.

Cars do a lot of damage to our environment: They create greenhouse gases and acid rain, contribute to global warming, and cause health issues ranging from minor headaches to birth defects. Fortunately, there are ways to make them more environmentally friendly.

4. High-Speed Trains

Sleek new “bullet trains” are grabbing headlines worldwide as their speedy networks are built. Japan’s shinkansen, which offers speeds up to 320mph, is just one example of such a system, but the closest the United States comes to high-speed rail at present is Amtrak’s Acela Express, which reaches 150mph on limited sections of track.

The technology has potential to reduce travel time and costs and promote sustainable mobility. But will it encourage people to live further away from where they work, as feared by some? And can such infrastructure be maintained at the level necessary to make the most of its benefits?

5. Hyper-Fast Trains

We live in a time of rapid innovation that is reshaping transportation and our lives. EVs and autonomous vehicles gather mass amounts of non-personal data to improve efficiencies, while Elon Musk promises the Hyperloop will whisk you from San Francisco to Los Angeles in half an hour.

The fastest high-speed trains reach 267 miles per hour, but maglev trains (which use powerful magnets to levitate) could achieve far greater speeds. Unfortunately, these innovative transportation methods start out prohibitively expensive, requiring years of funding and political will to become viable.

6. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a technology that overlays digital visual information onto the user’s real world environment. It differs from virtual reality (VR), which creates an entirely new digital world.

AR is already widely used in social media as Snapchat lenses and in apps that help find cars in crowded parking lots, or allow users to test out furniture in their home before making a purchase. It’s also one of the pillars of Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution that’s transforming business in unexpected ways.

In manufacturing, AR enables workers to quickly troubleshoot issues, reduce downtime and keep production moving. It also supports training and ongoing learning for employees.

7. Personal Transporters

A personal transporter can be a great way to get around quickly and efficiently. It is also a great alternative to driving as it allows you to do other things while commuting such as reading, relaxing or even sleeping.

Cities across the world are investing in public transit to encourage sustainable commuting. In some cases, nudges are being used to encourage commuters to change their habits – for example, a company in Boston offers employees free parking spaces or has moved to carpooling on their most congested routes. Modern Innovations Are Changing the Way We Commute.

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