A recent article on Disruption Hub links nicely to some work our team has done recently with some transportation companies (car and airline), and some recent we completed some time ago on the future of shipping.

Read the Disruption Hub report on their site, or an extract below:

5 Companies Disrupting Transport and Travel

by Laura Cox, April 10, 2017

What’s next for the travel and transport industry?

We spend so much of our lives (and money) getting from A to B. According to the 2015 UK National Travel Survey, Londoners alone spend 107 hours a year commuting to and from work. This partly explains why there’s been so much interest in revolutionising travel, from simple innovations to autonomous vehicles and flying cars. New options are becoming more efficient and more cost effective too. Electric vehicles (EVs) are replacing traditional diesel and petrol consumption, carpooling is challenging car ownership, and driverless cars are freeing up passengers time. What’s next for the dynamic transportation industry, and who are the driving forces behind these advancements?

1. Wright Electric

Wright Electric’s interest lies in … commercial electric airplanes, and testing began early this year. Their flagship model, Wright One, could be hugely beneficial to the transportation industry. For example, removing the need for traditional fuel would make travel cheaper, although they are reliant on significant advances in battery technology.

2. Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce is spearheading an innovative project in Finland geared towards creating autonomous cargo ships. The Advanced Autonomous Water Applications (AAWA) initiative already has €6.6 million in funding, a long list of partners including ESL Shipping, and academic expertise from three universities. The project will run until the end of 2017 to prepare for autonomous shipping. Rolls Royce expects fully autonomous cargo liners to be regular ocean farers within 10 to 15 years, and has suggested that crewless ships could embark on their maiden voyages as soon as 2020.

3. Otto

Otto’s flagship product is a retrofit kit that can turn any truck made after 2015 into an autonomous vehicle. Ever since Uber bought the transportation startup for a whopping $680 million, Otto has been a key contender in innovative travel…stating that AI trucks will be available within 10 years. In order to facilitate mass adoption, the company is tweaking the truck software to accommodate the need for space and slower reaction times of big vehicles.

4. Terrafugia

Terrafugia was set up in 2006 and is something of a flying car veteran. The company has already developed the Transition, ‘the world’s first practical flying car’, which can be reserved for $10,000. Their aim for the future is to create a flying car for mass adoption called the TF-X. It’s an ambitious goal, and they have competition from various other companies – not to mention transportation giants Uber. Terrafugia are off to a good start, though, with a current investment total of $5.56 million and a functional product already in existence.

5. SpaceX

No disruptive transportation list would be complete without an appearance from the company behind reusable rockets – although we won’t be taking one of those to work any time soon. Late last year, SpaceX revealed the Hyperloop project. Hyperloop is essentially a superfast, electric train. It will cost $20 per journey – not bad, considering the travel time will be half that of an aeroplane. But like all current projects, adoption isn’t just around the corner. Commuters will have to wait – you guessed it – 10 years until the train is ready to board.

There are already serious changes underway in the travel and transportation industry. Autonomous cars will be commonplace by 2021, and electric vehicles are already commercially available. Newer projects have set their sights within the next decade. Regardless of the range in timeframes, there is a clear emerging trend in the expansion of technological development for transportation methods other than cars. Research into innovative ships, planes and trucks is about improving our travel experiences, but it’s also about distributing physical objects. With the necessary investment and support, the above companies are gearing up to disrupt themselves as well as their industry – whilst having a profound impact on the businesses and organisations that rely on transportation.

Source: Disruption Hub

I would add to the list above:
Future travel

  • The Ehang-184 personnel drone, made by Ehang http:// www.ehang.com/
  • Tesla – SpaceX’s partner, working on electric cars, and as of this week, the most valuable automobile company in the USA.
  • Interplanetary Transport System by Space X – massive re-usable rockets that can transport hundreds of people at a time, and could be launched from orbit rather than from earth. This makes space travel much cheaper, much safer and more accessible. And is the basis of a plan for Mars colonisation during this century.
  • It might also be worth mentioning Amazon, and a host of smaller companies, that are using drones for delivery of packages. This will certainly disrupt the logistics business.

And here is a Business Insider article that tracks 20 automobile companies that are seriously chasing driverless cars in the next few years.

Are there any other breakthrough or revolutionary ideas in transportation that you think could change the world in the near future?

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