The flying car? It’s being manufactured. Now, Zintro experts list their top five coolest trends in transportation innovation.
Arne Elias, PhD MBA, an expert in social and technological change management, says that the coolest trends that also have future potential are:
- Solar aircraft, because it combines energy capture, storage, and light-weighting;
- e-bikes, because they allow anyone to take the majority of trips for virtually no cost (what’s missing is good safe infrastructure);
- intelligent transportation systems, both new and retro-fit such as moj.io; and
- High-speed rail to replace expensive (in this decade) air for short-haul applications.
“As an initiator of plug-in hybrid vehicles for the last decade, I’d have to add them because they do everything ordinary cars do in a much better and cheaper manner. They will be the dominant vehicle technology of the next decade.
Jet packs and flying cars have been cool for about 80 years but unlikely to go anywhere other than as a rich person’s toy,” says Elias.
Jim Bramlett, an expert in transportation management systems, says that in freight transportation, cloud-based technology is enabling real time information exchange with direct and tactical communication that shares both capacity and demand. “Cloud-based technology will transform the way the freight industry works. Not only will freight carriers publish dynamic pricing for contractual business, they will be able to quickly adjust to market demands and utilize yield management practices that airlines use, he says. “For the past 20 years, third-party intermediaries have grown exponentially, and in the next two years, direct marketplaces will prosper and eliminate the need for those intermediaries. Freight carriers will then publish capacity and match this data to shipments and vice versa. Even more powerful will be the ability for freight carriers to use push technology to alert shippers in advance where they have capacity and where they are offering incentives for shipments.”
Joseph Lombardo, an expert in carrier sourcing strategies, lists his coolest trends in transportation as:
- Movement to alternative fuels for Class 8 tractors, such as compressed natural gas and liquid natural gas, which have a lower price point than diesel and less pollutants.
- Apps for smartphones and tablets in transportation for communication with drivers looks like a low-cost solution that can level the playing field for smaller carriers.
- Use of RFID tags for trailer yard management applications at a shipper’s or receiver’s location. “Temporary tags are applied when trailer enters the yard which can provide location in real time,” says Lombardo. “This will improve efficiency of spotting tractors and give carriers real time information.”
- Use of social media by transportation companies for all modes truckload, 3PL, railroads, LTL carriers, brokers.
- Same day shipping in specific cities offered by Amazon.com and Wal-Mart.
- Collaboration, which has been talked about for years, is finally seeing traction as shippers/carriers/receivers work more closely together to drive out cost and improve service in their supply chains.
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