The Future of Transportation & My Final Reflection

This semester, we learned a lot about the emerging technologies rapidly transforming the transportation sector. For example, we learned about how Lidar technology and reCAPTCHA provide autonomous vehicles with the capability to identify multiple objects around a particular area. In my final blog of the semester, I will share some of the most innovative technologies in transportation and conclude by sharing my thoughts about the course.

Flying Motorcycles

A lot of the conversation about the future of transportation has primarily focused on autonomous vehicles and high-speed/bullet trains. But a flying motorcycle is something that probably never crossed our mind. A Jetpack Aviation firm in Ventura, California, built a futuristically designed flying motorcycle. Many of the motorcycle’s components are still in development, but the vehicle contains a jet turbine that gives it a vertical thrust. While in the air, the small wings on the motorcycle are powered by net zero. How fast are they? At 15,000 feet, the aircraft can reach 150 mph for about an hour. If you want to purchase this aircraft, two models are available at an expensive price tag starting at $385,000. And as of now, no special licensing is required. The company is confident that its motorcycle will be flying in a city near you in the next ten years.  


Smarter Wheelchairs

I love hearing and reading about new technology geared toward helping our most vulnerable populations. A new wheelchair called LUCI uses stereovision, infrared, ultrasonic, and radar sensors to enhance safety and mobility. Furthermore, according to the Wall Street Journal, the wheelchair uses RealSense cameras to identify the surrounding area, similar to Lidar technology to navigate curbs, obstacles, and tipping scenarios. The innovative wheelchair became available in February and cost $8,445. To date, the wheelchair prevented over 10,000 accidents, according to their founder Barry Dean.


A Stylish Motorized Scooter

When you thought we couldn’t get any lazier, the latest development to improve urban mobility is an electric-powered armchair on wheels, called the S-Pod Segway. Like other electrically powered wheelchairs, users will navigate using a joystick and travel 23 mph. The company plans to roll out this technology at airports, shopping malls, theme parks, and corporate campuses. For now, older generations are the target demographic for this new technology and would have been an excellent addition to @downeastdigitall presentation on “Gray Tech.”


In Closing

The new developments referenced above hardly cover the entire catalog of new technology emerging in transportation. However, it balances innovation for recreational purposes and provides a safe way to travel for people with mobility issues. In this course, I learned that digital transformation needs to have a healthy combination of technology that helps businesses stay competitive while ensuring the inclusiveness of everyone internally in an organization and externally. The benefit of students getting involved in their learning instead of relying on lectures is the new essence of education. The added benefit of using digital tools such as Twitter and WordPress to foster a continuous learning experience promotes higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. Not only do I feel more empowered to take on digital transformation in my organization, but I also got a chance to meet some really great people along the way.     

6 comments

  1. DownEastDigital · ·

    Some great additions to my presentation here, I appreciate you recognizing the connection! The LUCI wheelchair would have made for an interesting angle as well I think. I think that a lot of the products I see geared towards seniors are overengineered and as a result come with a price that deters early adopters. The LUCI is a great example as a quick search for electric wheelchairs tells me even the nice ones are about half that price. I think the solution would be talking to seniors before designing a product and then scale up from there. I was really surprised to see Segways selling for 600.00 which is much less than I was expecting. I wonder how much the pod will cost, funny to think of someone going 23mph is one of those!

  2. Shannon Reardon · ·

    Cool motorcycle! I wonder how regulators will begin to deal with commercial airway traffic and what regulations they’ll put in place, if this tech gains popularity. Also, if airway traffic is similar to on-the-road speed regulations, how would a motorcycle be “pulled over”? So many question

    I also appreciated this perspective – “The benefit of students getting involved in their learning instead of relying on lectures is the new essence of education”. This reminds me of Professor Kanes line earlier in the year… “in 5 years, the material we discuss is going to be obsolete, but if we can learn to teach ourselves and constantly, we will stay ahead of the game”. Thank you for sharing this blog!!

  3. I’m shuddering at the prospect of the stylish motor scooter. I’m currently down in Florida, right in the hotbed of Disney and there are SO MANY people zipping around on scooters through the crowds. Granted some of these people might not be able to walk (for all I know) but I suspect many are just utilizing them for convenience. Just tonight, I almost got into a kind of walking race with some octogenarian who was revving his scooter to outpace me.

    Great final post but I do have to say, I’m shocked that when mentioning Flying Motorcycles you did include a clip from the television series “Galactica: 1980”

  4. Nice wrap-up post Miles! I liked the innovations geared towards improving mobility and life quality for the elderly and the disabled.

    “The added benefit of using digital tools such as Twitter and WordPress to foster a continuous learning experience promotes higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. Not only do I feel more empowered to take on digital transformation in my organization, but I also got a chance to meet some really great people along the way” – I agree with you on this. While I might not continue to tweet, I am glad to have had the chance to harness the power of Twitter to enhance our learning experience.

  5. lexgetdigital · ·

    So good being in class with you, Miles! Thanks for an insightful last post – I continue to learn from you! I’m excited for the improvement in wheelchair technology. I’m not excited for flying motorcycles – those drivers seem to already drive crazy enough, can’t even imagine what it’d be like if they were taking flight! I echo your final remarks: “I learned that digital transformation needs to have a healthy combination of technology that helps businesses stay competitive while ensuring the inclusiveness of everyone internally in an organization and externally.” I’d add that it also needs to comply with legal rules and ethics. Nice work!

  6. totombc2021 · ·

    Great tie-ins here. I think we’re already seeing the future of transportations with electric people movers of all shapes and sized popping up daily. But can’t wait until they start flying!

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