Most of us live in modern cities packed with cars and trucks causing alarming levels of pollution and never ending traffic jams. Each year 8.2 million deaths are attributed to air pollution according to the World Health Organisation. Transportation is one of the leading causes of global warming, which is responsible for sea level rising. In addition, more than a million people are killed in car accidents each year.
Blockchain and self-driving electric vehicles are the two emerging technologies that can help to make transportation cleaner, more economical and efficient.
Autonomous vehicles, if they are electric and shared, could significantly decrease the amount of vehicles circulating the roads. As a result, we will have less congested streets, more space for pedestrians and bicycles, cleaner air, minimised energy use, etc. Blockchain can make paying for a ride or delivering a service as easy as a few clicks or swipes on a smartphone app. Furthermore, car loans or insurance payments could be minimal or disappear since blockchain could make renting vehicles cheap, fast and convenient.
How will the future of transportation look like?
Self-driving electric vehicles together with blockchain will form the future of transportation ecosystem. Self-driving cars will be able to find the most convenient route based on real-time traffic information and prevent accidents. Blockchain will allow peer-to-peer carsharing and eliminate the need for banks or other ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft. For example, Tesla plans to enable car owners to loan their cars to a shared autonomous fleet when not in use. Moreover, blockchain could make the trip fees to be automatically charged from passenger´s blockchain-enabled digital wallets and instantly paid to the car owner. The blockchain identification mechanism will ensure a secure carsharing since each user will record proof of identity, age, insurance and ability to pay on the blockchain.
More visionary, and perhaps not as distant, is the application of blockchain technology for artificially intelligent devices. For example, if we had an autonomous car (p.33), we could set up a blockchain account for the car with the key to the account embedded solely in the car itself. If the car functions as a robot taxi, passengers could share the car and pay to the car directly. Then, the car, by having its own money, could refuel or go to the workshop for repair.
The future of transportation will be shaped by self-driving cars and blockchain technology, which will offer extensive benefits for every member of society.
Image credits: Picaidol and Unsplash (Pixabay)
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