7 Major Ways Technology Will Impact Transportation In 2022

7 Major Ways Technology Will Impact Transportation In 2022

2022 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for innovators in the transportation technology space. New technologies like electronic vehicles (EV), on-demand services, smart city integrations, and autonomous vehicles, are rapidly changing the personal, and public transportation landscape. And, if the past few years have proved anything, it’s that our transportation systems remain critical to keeping people, and the economy, moving forward.

Today’s travelers are demanding more when it comes to their health, safety (and security), and overall ridership experience. With these in mind, innovation is driving significant progress towards upgrading vehicles, enhancing accessibility, improving rider experience, reducing emissions, and even protecting transit employees’, and riders’ information. With a laser focus on innovation in 2022, here are our top 7:

1. Clean Moving Electric Vehicles (EV)

There’s a great line from The Economist, on the effects of climate change; “Climate change… shapes cities, life expectancies and wine lists.” In short, it makes us think about how global warming can have a devasting impact on everything saba sport login we touch, see, and even taste. It also reminds us of the tremendous responsibility we have as short-term inhabitants of this planet, to make green and clean changes in our everyday lives.

With transit emissions still being the largest contributor to climate change as of 2020, North Americans are embracing a move to electric vehicles (EV). Since 2016, the number of EVs on our roads, has more than tripled – and this movement extends beyond personal vehicles. Transit riders have always been ‘greener’ than vehicle drivers, but now more than ever, there is a wide-spread desire for eco-friendly public transit options.

In a recent Transit Unplugged podcast, Sebastian Viatus, Vice President Product Management, at Vontas, proclaimed “It’s been a sustained effort over the years to decarbonize transportation in general… some good success has been made with reducing emissions so far, and electric vehicles now have the potential to take that decarbonizing to the next level.”

Across North America, bus manufacturers are leveraging the latest advancements in EV technology to bring to the market. And more and more transit agencies are growing their EV fleets, with many big cities seeing commitments for a complete conversion to EV within 10 to 20 years. Take the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) for example, who currently runs 60 electric buses across the city, with an outstanding order for an additional 300.

It’s obvious that electric vehicles are here to stay. With the new American Infrastructure Bill, allocating significant funding towards sustainable transportation, 2022 is certain to experience major momentum in the advancement of electric transportation.

2. On-Demand Solutions

Now, more than two years since we first heard the words ‘global pandemic,’ amid rising health and safety concerns, and a desire to avoid crowded vehicles, many have transitioned to appointment-based, single-occupancy, on-demand transportation services.

Prior to COVID, on-demand services were already emerging. However, as many more appeared during the pandemic, on-demand’s value in preserving and enhancing mobility options, has been embraced by communities of all sizes.

For public transportation providers, microtransit shuttles and buses not only satisfy riders’ new demands for health and safety, but these on-demand services help to improve public transit efficiency. In a study conducted by Boston Consulting Group regarding on-demand microtransit, results show that “on-demand transit services work…helping cities reduce traffic by up to 15-30 percent, while providing a more efficient and comfortable way of travelling.”

In 2022 and beyond, we can expect to see on-demand services become mainstream for public transit agencies, and their riders, while the technology behind the platforms supporting these services, will continue to progress.

3. Self-Driving Vehicles

Like something out of The Jetsons cartoon, autonomous (self-driving), vehicles (AV), capable of sensing their environment, and operating without human involvement, have seemed too futuristic to be attainable. That is, until now. Today, self-driving vehicles are very much a reality, and are crawling towards widespread consumer adoption.

In recent years, we’ve grown accustomed to many semi-autonomous driving systems on the road, such as lane assist, electronic stability control (ESC), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and others. And autonomous vehicles are the next logical step in this evolution.

Like EVs, autonomous vehicles are not just for personal use. Public transit systems have started testing out autonomous buses, shuttles, and ride-hailing services. In 2021, The Ford Motor Company partnered with the ride-hailing group, Lyft, to launch an autonomous vehicle pilot project spanning Miami, Florida and Austin, Texas. Starting this year, and over the next five, Ford will deploy 1000 autonomous vehicles, utilizing the Lyft network.

While AV deployment is a huge leap towards the evolution of vehicle safety technologies, it’s not just about the technology. It’s about the impact they’re making on society at large. In 2022, we’re going to see AVs become a larger part of our transit ecosystem. And findings from a recent report reveal that autonomous vehicles can help save society approximately $800 billion each year. The reduction in car crash-related costs, the reduced strain on the healthcare system, more efficient transportation, better fuel savings, and more, all contribute to the overall societal cost-savings.

4. Small but Mighty Micromobility Options

Micromobility involves transporting individuals over short distances, by way of lightweight, usually single-person, vehicles. The emergence of motorized micro mobile vehicles, such as motor-assisted bicycles (e-bikes), and electric scooters, are an important part of the solution to end congested roadways, and frustrating travel delays.

There are numerous socioeconomic and environmental advantages to micromobility, as well as filling transit gaps. Micromobility options are essential to building a more accessible transportation system, and this low cost, sustainable offering brings individuals affordable transportation choices, regardless of socioeconomic status, or geographic location.

While micromobility started to become ‘a thing’ long before the pandemic, a recent study found that the market is now growing two to three times faster than markets for car sharing, and e-mobility apps. And as people start to embrace smaller personal-use vehicles, as a way of filling gaps in their commute, micromobility will enhance riders’ overall travel experience too, while conserving resources, and reducing emissions.

There’s no question that micromobility shows great promise for the future of transit in 2022, and beyond. Technology plays an important role too. Micromobility manufacturers are working with tech providers to include smart safety features like speed monitoring and sidewalk detection, to make these vehicles better, and the roads safer for everyone.

5. Big Data Insights and Analytics

Data is forever changing the world. In 2022, it will continue to enhance public transportation, and almost every other customer-serving industry. ‘Big Data’, referring to large, continuous sets of data that are organized before analyzing, is used by transit organizations to inform decisions and solve transit problems. In the long-term, these solutions will help increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, and support better-informed decision making.

As an example, consider the big data gathered from Fixed Route CAD/AVL systems (Computer-Aided Dispatch / Automatic Vehicle Location). CAD/AVL uses computers and global positioning systems (GPS) to aid dispatchers in tracking transit vehicles, and it uses real-time insights to monitor driver performance, increase communication, and reduce response times to operational problems. With real-time data, call takers can quickly and accurately respond to ‘Where’s my bus?’ and other customer calls of this type. These data insights help dispatchers gain greater control over their buses, to quickly assign vehicles to routes based on any number of criteria. And this is just one example of the benefits of Big Data analytics!

The efficiency of Big Data insights doesn’t just stop at the operational level. Transit agencies can save on their bottom line by implementing contactless technology. This is vital to ensure new health and safety protocols, plus it eliminates the need for equipment, like costly cash fare collection boxes, that require a significant amount of upkeep.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *