Imagine a world where your car drives you to work in the morning and picks you up in the evening, where an app tells you which public transport route is the least crowded at the moment, where you scan your environment for interesting stuff via your glasses while walking down the street.
The history of mankind has always been focused on mobility, on its perfection and acceleration. There were times when people led a settled life at one place, followed by times when the possibility to move from A to B became an important factor in people’s life’s, and today, it seems, we are constantly in motion while we are constantly doing other things at the same time.
“Mobility holds the promise of adventure, speed and progress. By contrast, standing still is associated with boredom and resignation. It is a contrast that characterises our times: we are, after all, almost constantly on the move,” explains an information board at the Technical Museum in Vienna. There you can visit the ongoing exhibition “From A to B” about mobility and check out 800 objects related to mobility on land, water and in the air.
How will we move in the future?
At the “mobility days” that took place at the Technical Museum at the end of March, Alexander Frötscher from Austria Tech talked about the future of mobility. “Cars will talk to each other,” he explained. “They will react to their surroundings.”
Cars will be able to evaluate if the road ahead of us is accessible and spot the nearest parking space when we slow down. But they will also be able to prevent traffic jams and car accidents. The technology that will enable them to do so is called telematics: a combination of telecommunication, automation and information technology. With this technology cars will always be connected and able to “sense” each other. The risk factor of “human failure” will matter less and less when it comes to road traffic. Additional good news: this kind of smart mobility will cost us less. Due to the economical development of the sharing economy. In the future we will own less and use concepts like car-sharing more often.
The internet of things
But it’s not only cars that will talk to each other. The so-called internet of things will bring us a digital society where all the devices we use on a daily basis will be connected. Our fridge will talk to our grocery store telling it’s low on milk, our running shoes will talk to our insurance companies telling them that we are fit and therefore deserve lower insurance rates, our mobile phone will send us push notifications when we need to fuel our cars – not to mention that we will never have to look again were we parked it the night before, because it will transmit its exact location to our mobile phone at frequent intervals. The internet of things will be the next step to keep our society in motion.
Photo source: Technical Museum Vienna
Header image credits royalty free