The way people move is changing daily. Ride-sharing apps, the car-sharing economy, and autonomous vehicles (also known as driverless cars) make the future of transportation a hot topic, particularly because it affects us all. After all, with eight billion people and one billion cars on earth, most people rely on transit.
With these concepts changing all the time, it’s easy to get lost in the new transportation jargon. Here’s a dictionary of transport-related concepts that Moovit’s transit tipster, Commuter Kate has put together to help you familiarize yourself.
Also referred to as driverless cars or AVs, these self-driving cars operate in “auto-pilot,” where sensors, cameras and monitors guide the vehicle through normal roads and traffic. Many traditional car companies see this technology as the future of automobiles and have been quick to develop their own driverless technologies. Moving at the speed of light, companies like Waymo have already amassed 7 million test miles.
Companies like Airbnb have paved the way for humans to trust one another again. At least when it comes to sharing their homes with strangers. And now, thanks to the power of online reviews, improved environmental consciousness, the desire to improve traffic, and the need to save money, people are more willing than ever to share their cars with fellow riders. Think about a carpool as a miniature bus where anyone with a car can be the bus driver.
Multi-modal refers to a journey where you use more than one type of transport. It’s difficult for public transport to get us directly from our door to our destination as the “first and last mile” are usually not on transport routes. So you end up taking multiple modes of transport, whether it’s walking, biking, bus, train, ferry, and so on. In the future, multi-modal transport will include AVs as well as other forms of transport we have yet to consider!
Ride-Sharing or Bike-Sharing Apps
Ride-sharing apps refer to companies like Uber, Lyft, Gett Taxi, Didi, Via and Chariot that act as the connection between riders and drivers. Increasingly in certain affluent cities, these services are pulling people away from buses and providing riders with a door-to-door service therefore removing the issue of first/last mile. This differs from carpool in that most cases, the carpool driver will be traveling a certain way and won’t divert from this route, whereas ride-sharing drivers tend to deliver passengers to their requested destination.
Bike-share also has become popular with riders able to rent a bike from docking stations located throughout the city. More recently, companies like Jump have enabled bike pick up from anywhere.
This refers to people working from home rather than commuting to the office. If this is the case, there will be less traffic on the road. An alternative to telecommuting is flexi-hours where people have the option to commute out of peak hours, reducing congestion on public transit.
Tap in your destination or search for nearby bus or train stations on apps like Moovit to get maps, schedules, service alerts, and real-time arrival information. It’s a step-by-step GPS-style guide for all your public transit needs. Moovit covers a range of multi-modal transit, and is available in 2,200 cities across 80 countries and is translated into 44 languages so it’s perfect for your travels as well as your daily commute.
While some of these ideas require new thinking and acceptance of the masses or huge investment in infrastructure, Moovit’s Co-founder and CEO Nir Erez speaks about more tangible ideas for the foreseeable future. When he talks about the future of transportation, he sees how anonymous data captured by the Moovit app can help governments, transit agencies and municipalities improve the state of their public transit in real-time to optimize it for smart people movement management. You can read more of his thoughts here.
If you think AVs are years away, and won’t affect you personally, think again. Technologies are coming into place at the speed of light and eventually, they will change the way we all move. Moovit is excited to be a powerful force in the transit revolution all across the world, and reach our goal of providing one billion people with the best transit experience possible by 2021.