Technology today is taking the transportation industry on a wild ride. Recent advances in technology are disrupting everything we know about how to safely move people and goods. To illustrate this, let me take you on a modern-day family RV trip across the country:
Your family picks out several landmarks and locations it would like to visit on summer vacation. You program them into a website developed to calculate the most efficient route and use the application to sequence the trip, so you minimize travel time and maximize your time together. The result is a detailed plan for your trip complete with your landmarks and a dropdown menu from which you can pick restaurants at the appropriate meal times along the way.
Once the plan is complete, you approve the budget and upload the whole thing to your mobile device via the cloud. The software verifies your reservations and tickets and communicates to the hospitality and retail network, so individual outlets can align their resource planning to support your arrival. Once you are in your vehicle, the operating system requests permission to execute the travel plans. You authorize, and off you go.
As the RV merges onto the interstate, a tire blows. You pull your vehicle to the shoulder, and – without picking up a phone or leaving the safety of your vehicle – you have automatically activated the sensors connected to the roadway-monitoring software, which detects a vehicle where it should not be. The roadway system communicates with the onboard system in your RV indicating a “no pressure” event with your tire and forwards an alert to the transportation authority command center system, which dispatches resources to create a safe work zone and communicates with approaching vehicles. A warning of a disabled vehicle ahead alerts oncoming traffic, so they can adjust their speed to minimize congestion. Resources arrive with a replacement tire to meet the specifications communicated by the onboard unit. Your vehicle is quickly and safely repaired, and you are moving again.
As you head down the road, you receive an alert confirming that your schedule has been impacted; the onboard unit asks if you want to adjust your plan or use the same plan and recalculate new arrival times. It then communicates with all the parties impacted. Thirty minutes before you hit the first landmark, your onboard unit verifies your ticket purchase and notifies the retail outlet of your new arrival time. When you arrive, your RV is directed to its parking spot. The rest of your trip continues with minimal adjustments needed.
As a part of your trip planning, the software generated a list of all charges and costs along the way, including roadway user fees. Technology has enabled state departments of transportation to replace the fuel tax that failed to discriminate vehicles that were using tax-supported roads from those using toll roads, with a true user-pay system that charges based on roads used and miles driven.
By communicating with your onboard unit, the appropriate tolling and transportation agencies also gather important data about the actual impact of your trip on roadway assets and identify appropriate predictive and preventive measures needed to make roadways last longer. Instead of having to maintain a roadway every 17 years, the agencies now can use the proper predictive and preventive measures to make roadways last more than 30 years.
Now imagine this… all this happened while you were in the back of the RV playing cards with your family or taking a nap as your vehicle drives itself down the road.
As technology continues to change the way we live and work, today’s enterprises face the challenge of discerning which investments are right for them. CAI is a solution-based, technology-agnostic business, which means we are not constrained by a catalogue of products, and we don’t believe in technology for technology’s sake. This allows us to meld together the best tools, services and processes to deliver the right solutions for our public and private clients. We bring innovative ideas to life!