Technology has become an intrinsic part of the global community, so much so that we are connected to practically everything that has been touched by technology. In such a hardwired world, the need for technological innovations becomes inevitable. The transportation industry has been integral to movement and trade since ancient times. As the world develops rapidly, so must transportation keep up. With greater global exchanges, the movement of goods and services is continually expanding at an exponential rate. This brings greater costs in terms of product delivery, customer outreach, employee benefits, vehicle movement, etc.
The 2017 ARPA-E's Annual Energy Summit encourages innovations in transformational energy, that forms a crucial feature for transportation industries. One such presentation was from Brown University and BluSource Energy. They came up with a novel approach toward harnessing tidal power as a source of emissions free fuel. Ocean energy powers the generator using an underwater wing known as an oscillating hydrofoil. Not only are the environmental benefits of an oscillating hydrofoil immediately evident, but the need for fleets to carry fuel becomes greatly reduced, perhaps even obliterated. The currents of the sea provide an infinite source of green energy as opposed to procuring costly fuel cargo over large distances and long periods of time.
UPS is a great example of how innovation can boost company profits. The first package delivery system in the US to adopt alternative technologies in its delivery fleets, UPS has been a pioneer in integrating technology into its business. As discussed by Janice King in her article How Transportation Technologies will Change Everything, UPS relies on the On- Road Integrated Optimization Navigation (ORION) software for its package deliveries. To ensure increased efficiency, the ORION system identifies the most optimal route for the driver by using data obtained from daily delivery missions and historical route tracking. The goal was that a decrease in route errors and erratic driving would result in reduced fuel consumption and fuel emissions. Highlighting the successful implementation of the ORION software in his statement, Mitch Nichols, UPS Senior Vice President of Transportation and Engineering announced,
"We have realized a reduction of 6 to 8 miles driven per route resulting in significantly lower fuel use and related lower vehicle emissions."
Technological advances cannot be ignored and it is imperative that transportation systems examine recent innovations. Traditional concepts over burden the system and archaic structures only lead to revenue losses and costly expenditures. It is essential that the transportation industry keep reinventing itself to avert implosion or extinction.