With the price of train fares going up all the time, it’s not surprising that people are looking for alternative ways to get to work. The average price of taking the train every day is currently running at between $4,000 and $8,000 a year, depending on where you live. And although it’s still cheaper than taking the car, you do have to spend your time crammed up next to other people in an environment that isn’t particularly friendly.
But the high price of commuting might be about to change, thanks to a bunch of new technologies set to take the world by storm.
Robots On Wheels
The arrival of the first, fully-autonomous consumer-grade vehicle is still a couple of years away. But one business is already ahead of the game and delivering a self-driving vehicle that will shuttle passengers from one location to another without the need for a driver. One of the cities looking into hosting a fleet of driverless vehicles to ferry people between their homes and work is San Francisco. The city authority recently made it onto a list of seven finalists, all of whom wanted to experiment with new, tech-enabled transport hubs.
Contra Costa country, just over the bay from San Francisco has already begun experimenting with what it calls its shared driverless vehicles. These essentially look like miniature buses but without any compartment for the driver. Instead, passengers hop on and end up in an environment that is uncannily similar to a cable car. The bus contains GPS routes and mapping software allowing it to avoid crashes and stay in the right part of the road. The fact that these vehicles are electric, low maintenance and have no drivers means that the costs of transporting people from A to B looks like it is going to fall dramatically, once these newfangled buses are in operation all over the country.
Electrified personal transport saves money: that’s difficult to dispute. But so far, thanks to the fiasco involving hoverboard batteries, it hasn’t caught on in the same way as, say, bicycles, have for commuting.
But now there’s a superior product hitting the shelves – the electric unicycle. It’s actually a lot more efficient than hoverboards, thanks to the fact that it has a bigger space in which to store the battery. And it’s able to propel you at a reasonable speed, without you having to expend any effort yourself. This new form of personal transportation is ideal for people who commute to work through a local park or along a cycle route.
Amazon recently announced that it is opening a store where people can pick products off the shelf and then just walk out of the shop, getting billed later. In other words, no more kiosks, waiting in lines or bad customer service to ruin the shopping experience.
Now these painless payment methods are coming to taxis and train stations near you. There’s no need to try to dig out cash or payment cards anymore. You’ll simply inform the transportation company involved that you’re using their services through your app, and they’ll debit your account, depending on where you’ve traveled and what services you’ve used.