CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
July 20, 2018
Forward Thinking

Three innovations that will change transportation

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A report by the World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group identifies technologies that could have the greatest impacts on freight and passenger transportation in the future.

Technological advances are transforming transportation so quickly that it's hard to predict where new technologies will lead. But Connected World: Transforming Travel, Transportation, and Supply Chains, a new report from the World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group, takes a stab at identifying the innovations that could have the greatest impact on transportation by 2025. Here are three examples:

A traffic management system for megacities would integrate and process real-time information from vehicles, infrastructure, individuals, and the environment to manage traffic. Before highway congestion reaches problematic levels, the system would automatically reroute drivers or adjust tolls to encourage alternate routes.

A "smart" visa system would eliminate the long lines at airport screening points and land border crossings, simultaneously enhancing security. Visa applications would be standardized across multiple countries, and biometric identity checks would speed customs processing.

A real-time tracking system for optimizing logistics would solve many problems associated with "last-mile" deliveries. Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips would be incorporated into packaging and used to track the real-time location of items and other factors, such as average shipment temperature.

The report noted that some of these technologies exist today, but a lack of cooperation across industries and public agencies prevents widespread implementation. Other concerns include data ownership, data privacy, and resilience against cyberattacks.

A copy of the report is available from The World Economic Forum.

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