How technology can make travelling smarter and safer by 2025 – WEF

22 May 2013

Four new solutions that are based largely on existing technology could drastically improve the safety and efficiency of travel and transportation by 2025 – that’s according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) out today.

The Connected World: Transforming Travel, Transportation and Supply Chain report outlines new solutions the WEF believes could radically change how people and products move around the globe.

The forum worked with more than 50 companies from the travel, transportation and ICT industries to explore the future of travel and transportation.

The report outlines scenarios of how the world may look in 2025, reflecting potential socio-political, economic and environmental developments.

According to the WEF, the answers lie in hyperconnectivity – the interconnectedness of people and things – to make the future of travel and transportation more seamless and efficient.

The report outlines four cross-industry solutions for which the WEF claims the technology is already available.

The solutions include an ‘intermodal travel assistant’. Such a system would allow travellers to use one ticket per journey and provide real-time advice on congestion and options to change routes.

Real-time information to combat city congestion

Next up would be a future traffic management system for megacities. This system would integrate and process information from vehicles, travel infrastructure, individuals and the environment in real-time to forecast and counteract congestion in cities.

Another system that is being proposed by the WEF is a new answer for visa, airport-security and border-control processes. The system would harness technology such as biometric identification, a real-time risk classification of passengers, body and luggage scanners and electronic visa procedures to improve security.

The final system targets the logistics industry. The tracking system would use RFID chips to provide supply-chain management assistance using real-time updates on the condition and carbon footprint of products.

“Each of these solutions enables a transformation in global transportation systems that would drive economic growth and improve our daily lives. Each solution is entirely achievable,” said John Moavenzadeh, senior director, Mobility Industries, WEF.

He said the technology is readily available but the main challenge is co-ordinating stakeholders from multiple industries and government agencies.

The WEF is working with companies, governments and other stakeholders to develop roadmaps to progress all four solutions.

Transport image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic