Advancements in technology are influencing every field ranging from robotics to marketing to healthcare. This improved different aspects of our daily activities and increased productivity. Not only that, it has influenced just about every industry, and they are adopting newer technologies to improve their competitive moat. One such important category is transportation technology, and in the past ten years, countless strides have been made. Among them, electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles will change how we commute. In this article, we will explore new transportation technology that you must know about in 2020.
Unit Load Devices
Unit load devices (ULD) can be pallets to containers used for bundling a huge quantity of cargo into a single unit. This reduces the loading time for aircraft and improves the efficiency of the whole process because there are only fewer units to load. They are made using different materials depending on the nature of the cargo to be transported. ULD pallets are made using rugged aluminum sheets with rims that can lock on to cargo nets. ULD containers are more well-designed closed containers with aluminum rims and Lexan walls, and they can be customized according to the goods they are transporting.
Next-generation ULDs integrate smart technologies like GPS tracking, IoT, and they are made using lightweight materials. This makes them more secure, lightweight, increases utility, and hence, improves the fuel economy of vehicles used for transporting them. Although they cost more than ordinary ULDs, in the long run, they save money. This is because they reduce the cost of other logistic operations like decreased loading and unloading times, and increased the efficiency of dispatch.
Transportation Management Systems
The traffic lights in cities are one of the most familiar forms of transportation management systems (TMSs). Advancements in commercial remote sensing have enabled the development and implementation of advanced transportation management systems (ATMSs), and their usage is projected to rise. It provides dispatchers with real-time data like average speed and traffic congestion details. This helps to effectively reroute logistic vehicles and reduce the overall cost by saving gas money, operation expenses, and reducing labor hours.
Apart from logistics, the other major real-world application of advanced transportation management systems (ATMSs) is traffic management in cities. This is especially useful when there are roadway maintenance and other civil works. Many cities in the world are adopting new transportation technology to optimize their expenditures on public utility services like transportation.
The solar roadway is a new transportation technology that is not yet perfect but holds huge potential for the future when perfected. The idea behind this technology is to inlay solar panels in asphalt roads because they are constantly exposed to the sun. Its widespread adaptation is hindered because it cannot outdo the cost-benefit relationship of conventional asphalt roads. However, experimental solar roadways are being tested in different countries for research purposes and to perfect this promising modern transportation technology. For example, in 2017 China created a 1 km stretch of solar roadway on a highway, and it was built by using a tri-layered composite material. Solar panels were sandwiched between a top layer of transparent concrete and a bottom layer of insulation material.
This technology stands out among the many modern transportation technologies because of its potential to accelerate the transition to an environmentally friendly future. It also enables the collaboration between civil engineers and power generation utilities. Currently, there are no profits because of the immense amount of resources required to build a short stretch of road.
Automated Freight Check In
Automated freight check-in is like automated flight check-in used by many commercial passenger airlines. With freights, this was made possible with the integration of smart technologies like IoT in next-generation ULDs. This helps to network shipping containers and ULDs, and shippers can use software to automatically detect their various features like dimensions, weight, and content. As a result, they can save labor hours, the number of laborers required, and increase the overall efficiency of logistic works.
Apart from this, it reduces the waiting time of truck drivers at highway weigh stations and thereby avoids long queues. Also, it minimizes or eliminates the possibility of cargo misplacements and accidental shipping of cargo to wrong destinations. This technology minimized these issues in the commercial airline industry and helped airline companies to save lots of money paid out as compensation for lost or misplaced luggage.
AI And Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics and AI are used for managing and rerouting traffic in many smart cities. This helps to avoid roadblocks and traffic congestion, and it makes commuting a pleasant experience. They are also used in trucking and shipping industries for designing strategic solutions. Moreover, logistics companies are integrating predictive analytics and AI to modernize operations like transportation management systems, tracking ULDs, measuring and weighing ULDs, etc. They can pretty much replace every manually executed software task.