How high-speed transportation will change the work landscape?
In this article, we will see
- What’s being done to solve the problem? To solve the transportation of the citizens.
- Which other means of transportation, do I want to speak about? Other than the known conventional systems.
- Why such drastic measures for new cities? We will see the drastic changes of an employee regarding her/his location of work.
- What’s going on for now?
Let’s start with a bit of history
The first means of transportation from one location to another was through human and animal muscle-power, in other words humans or animals transporting other humans or goods. This mode of transportation remained for thousands of years.
With the advent of the transport mechanization, people were transported en masse a lot faster, i.e. public transportation. This type of transportation was developed in ‘slow-motion’ throughout the 20th century. People preferred the individualized cars.
In the very beginning of the 20th century (1900 up to 1920), there were promising clean-tech technologies in production like the General Vehicle Company’ electric excursion bus.
As we already know, the oil companies threatened or bought out the licenses of these companies and closed them for good to promote their Otto or Diesel motors with all the consequences that we know today in our cities and the premature deaths of our loved ones. Now it is too late to radically change the world into clean transportation. Regrettably, we must do it gradually.
What’s being done to solve the problem?
There are promising companies with clean-tech cars and public transports, which the President-elect Trump is willing to slow down with the reopening of the coal mines and the drilling of new oil fields. My conclusion is that the national US market will subsidize even more the oil-industry and again flood the market with gasoline polluting cars. My advice is the delocalization of the affected clean-tech companies into countries who are willing to finance their research, e.g. the European Union or even the Russian Federation.
For instance, Russia is making strong strides in developing a network of charging stations for electric cars. “Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on Aug. 27 requiring the owners of gas stations to equip their facilities with chargers for electric cars by Nov. 1, 2016, according to a copy of the document published on the official government website last Monday” (The Moscow Times).
As we can figure out the individualized electric cars are only a temporary solution for our cities. The problem is the traffic congestion as we see it everywhere around the world. So, mass transportation, as it was in the beginning of the 20th century, is on the move. These buses are either powered electrically or via fuel cells. The fuel cells were described in a letter on October 1838, but only published in the December 1838 edition of ‘The London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science’ by a Welsh physicist and barrister William Grove about his development (read it on Wikipedia under Fuel Cell).
Here we see a fuel cell-powered bus by Ballard in Cologne, Germany.
Still we are confined to a certain perimeter, in the city itself. To travel to other cities, we must use either the high-speed train or the plane.
This does not change the work landscape as the title is describing! Travelling with such methods is a wasting of time. Is it so? Well by train it might take a few hours to a full day travelling. The same time by airplane despite it is a lot quicker, as we must be a least 2 hours before departure, sometimes waiting another few hours for continuing our journey with another airline, and another hour at the customs and other checkups.
Which other means of transportation, do I want to speak about?
Soon, a high-speed transportation will be deployed in Russia, between St. Petersburg and Moscow, and United Arab Emirates, between Dubai to Abu Dhabi. I am speaking about the Hyperloop One.
This autonomous machine is really fast (up to 760 mph, or 1 222 km/h). Depending of the traffic, it takes up to 12 hours to travel by car between St. Petersburg and Moscow. With such high-speed transportations, it will take only about 35 to 40 minutes.
For intercity travelling, the Hyperloop would be an overkill. Therefore, there are other projects on its way with top speeds of 350 km/h.
All these means of transportation are powered by renewable energy, e.g. solar, wind, biomass gas, …
Let’s see what the future will bring to us.
Why such drastic measures for new cities?
Personally, I know families who must wake up around 5 AM to be at work at 8 AM, only to do 30 km (~19 miles). In the evening starts the same story, they finish their work around 5 or 6 PM and arrive home between 7 and 8 PM. Almost no time for family talks or even going out together.
Is this life that’s all about? Just to work and to sleep? I call it ‘modern slavery’. Sorry it makes me laugh when governments ask husband and wife to work, and at the same time to have children. Who raises them? The crèche personnel!
The method that we use now, the individualized cars, will disappear from our cities, more specifically new cities. This type of transportation is good outside our cities, for instance in the countryside.
Why do we have to spend about 2 hours traveling to work (only 30 km)? Well with the intercity high-speed transportation, we could do this trip within 5 to 7 min.
Regarding the Hyperloop, we could travel huge distances within 15 to 30 min. Let’s take the example of the Hyperloop between St. Petersburg and Moscow as mentioned before. Does not matter where you live, you just take a pod and you will be within 40 minutes in Moscow from St. Petersburg – 750 km – with one stop in-between. You could be on time to see your family and spend time with your children.
What’s going on for now?
I am proposing a 'Research Smart City' without any cars, only public underground high-speed transportation between the skyscrapers and stations in the confinement of that city and throughout the eco-industrial and farming parks outside the city.
On November 8, 2016, I participated on a panel where I proposed such a city. The response was very positive.
I am looking forward to start a consortium about the construction of such a city.