We live in a world constantly on the move, in seven billion different ways. Our daily errand-running, workday commutes, and vacation travels sometimes put us at odds with our surroundings.
There’s traffic to worry about, which raises our stress levels, the rising gas prices, and insurance prices, that cost you a fortune. The impact of transportation on the environment is an even bigger concern. Carbon emissions from the manufacturing and driving of vehicles are one of the world’s biggest producers of greenhouse gases that are harming the planet.
As we become more interconnected, with intercontinental flights, and suburbs that are becoming miniature cities of their own, the problem of congestion, both in the traffic and in the air we breathe, is only getting worse. In heavily populated areas, such as some parts of China and Mexico, the air has actually become dangerous to breathe at certain times of the day.
So what can we do? As it turns out, there’s plenty. Green initiatives have begun all over the world. Some of them are so simple you’ve probably already noticed. Others might sound a bit sci-fi now, but in a few years, could become commonplace.
In terms of commuting, check out these seven new technologies gaining popularity as the world moves toward a sustainable future.
One of the most exciting alternatives that will be available in the near future is the Hyperloop.
It is a high-speed means of transport that uses train capsules that are transported by a vacuum tube set. The Hyperloop was originally conceived by entrepreneur Elon Musk who presented the concept in 2012. From that moment on, the concept for the Hyperloop has been continually improved and tested. The company SpaceX and Musk’s infrastructure and tunnel construction company The Boring Company are pioneers in this, but nowadays several other companies and start-ups are actively engaged in the development of a Hyperloop or with the development of specific parts thereof.
2. Ride Share for Carpool
Lyft, Uber, and other car share apps are gaining in popularity. They’re a great way to make money and are often a cheaper way to travel than by car. Since they work as a carpool service, they’re often a lot better for the environment. As smart cars and smart roads become more popular, your ride shares will be able to recharge on the go, and be kept aware of weather conditions, road work ahead, and traffic problems. It’ll be easier, safer, and even more convenient to let someone else take the wheel.
3. Personal Self-Driving Buses
From Ride Shares and autonomous smart cars, self-driving buses are the next logical step. Some cities in Europe and across America have already started experimenting with buses, which are driven on electric tracks via routes programmed when you order. They’re small, and not great for carpool, but because they run on electricity, they cut down on traffic congestion and carbon emissions.
4. Community Bike Programs
Many cities have started embracing the health benefits of cycling. It cuts down on traffic on the road, and is a great green alternative for your commute. It keeps the city safer and healthier.
Some municipalities have begun experimenting with rent-a-bike programs. In some cases, you put a quarter in, rent the bike to travel around the city with, and leave it at a designated location. In other cases, the bikes require a transit card. In cities where the emphasis is on sustainability, the population enjoys a high quality of life, lots of public parks and amenities, including, of course, bike paths!
5. Elevated Bike Paths
How do you improve on biking as the perfect solution to help carbon emissions and overall health? Take to the skies! The dream of elevated, interconnected bike paths that rise above the traffic to offer wide, safe paths for cyclists is still a dream in many cases. Creating cycle paths that snake an entire city is currently economically unsound, according to experiments in London. But smaller cycle paths in Denmark and China, which stretch, at their longest, just five miles, have so far been successful. Before long, the infrastructure is sure to catch up with our technology and ambition.
6. Take a Cable Car to Work
From elevated bike paths to elevated cars? This isn’t a futuristic dream. The Mexicable is Mexico City’s solution to traffic congestion in urban centers and offers affordable public transit to poor rural areas. The seven-stop cable car transit system is designed to prevent the worst of the smog caused by traffic during the day. But it has also boosted sustainability in the city and encouraged the building of infrastructure which includes the rural communities, who now find it easier and safer to get to work every day.
The cable is an innovative idea that works to support the health of both the individual and the community. And who wouldn’t want to get to work by cable car?
7. Vacation in an Electric Car Suite
From electric cars, we’re already graduating to electric hotel suites! First unveiled in Toronto in 2016, the Autonomous Travel Suite is an innovative vehicle works with the concept of the electric self-driving buses. It’s completely programmable and runs on electricity, so it’s powered with green energy, including solar panels that store energy until it reaches a recharge station or E-hotel. But it’s a lot more luxurious than the cramped cubes that make up self-driving buses!
With every amenity you’d find in a luxury hotel suite, including king-sized beds, working toilets, steam showers, and WiFi onboard, this is a clean energy alternative way to travel that everyone will love.
With carbon emissions at an all-time high, we all need to be thinking about sustainable transportation going forward. Community efforts have produced innovations ranging from bicycle share programs to the Mexicable, a cable car system to help rural commuters connect to the city in a greener, safer way. As our technologies and infrastructure start to match our collective imaginations, we might just keep carbon emissions at the magical number of 1.5-degrees Celsius, as we move away from cars, traffic, and all that noise and stress, and toward a cleaner, healthier life for all of us.
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