Transport: engineering the road ahead

Whatever we think about the changing world of work, we still need transport systems moving smoothly from one point to another like veins through an active body. Working from home, internet shopping, home deliveries – even the escalating price of petrol – are not likely to keep us from moving around in a restless, endless sea of purpose, dreams and destinations.

So whichever way you look at it, a reliable transport system is the backbone of any well-planned city, or any vibrant economy for that matter. Transport Engineering is the discipline responsible for planning, designing and developing a city’s infrastructure by overseeing the construction of bridges, roads, flyovers, airports, multi-lane highways, bus terminals, etc. Much of this type of infrastructure will remain in our plans going forward for the foreseeable future, but you can reliably add elements such as: autonomous vehicles, elevated systems, electric and solar-powered cars, and even drones.

The future lies in speed and convenience, and how ready we are to move in tandem with the ever-growing technological revolution; a scenario which means there will always be a high demand for well-qualified transport system engineers in every country worldwide.

The future of transport

  • Although we are on the verge of a paradigm shift in the way we plan and implement transport systems, shaping everything for speed and convenience – putting safety and sustainability into all our plans remains a key factor.
  • The digital information age has allowed us to: respond to customers’ needs more effectively; invest in the future with greater perspective; vastly improve operational and maintenance programmes; and bolster financial planning for grander concepts. Much of this transformation will revolve around ingenious integration of rail and bus transport networks so that they provide smoother, less broken journeys; more convenient, safer and faster services.
  • Currently, new thinking around the transport sector is focused on actively looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions. Transport is one of the largest end-users of energy and so, from both a cost and environmental perspective the need to speed up the greening process is essential and offers exciting new business potential and job opportunities.
  • Despite technological advances with regard to vehicles, there is still little change in respect of asphalt roads. However, there are many interventions and innovations we can apply to roads that will help to improve our driving experience, particularly when it comes to road safety. For instance, roads can be used to store solar energy from the sun; and then this energy so stored can be transferred into electricity for homes.

The future of roads

Glow in the dark: Safety and innovative lighting will make use of paint that contains photo-luminising powder that “charges up” during the day. These green-glow markings can glow for up to 8 hours every night, transforming your driving experience while saving huge costs on electricity.

Interactive light: Motion-sensor lights are another idea to help the driver see the road ahead, and at the same time contribute to the green industry. As a car approaches a particular stretch of a road, the motion sensors will light up only that particular section of the road. The lights will grow brighter as the car comes closer and will dim after it has passed. Makes perfect sense, especially on quiet roads that don’t carry continual traffic.

Wind-powered lights: This is really out of the box thinking: wind-powered lights will power up by harnessing wind drafts from passing cars and transforming this energy into electricity by using pinwheels on the side of the road that in turn will spin to create a light, and provide light to the roadway as the car passes.

Priority land for electric cars: Charge up your electric car by driving in a selected, specially prepared lane on the highway. This lane will have embedded magnetic fields able to charge the vehicle while it is on the go. This means electric cars will not be required to find charging stations or have to stop for any length of time, and will be able to keep their batteries continually charged on long journeys.

Get in Outsource Engineers to handle your project

Imagine you could take your pick from a dream stable of just about every kind of engineering resource available at a moment’s notice. OutEng offers just that. Comprising a network of trusted, experienced and highly skilled engineers, project managers and technical people, including ECSA registered engineers in almost every discipline, all our engineers are freelancers or contractors who are contracted in per job as their skill is required. Each operates as an independent Business Unit, therefore covering own overheads (working from home or over weekends or remotely).

OutEng is setting new trends and standards in an agile, trust-based business style that is taking the engineering environment by storm. Across a multitude of cost-effective engineering and project services, you can expect:

  • solid expertise and experience
  • a unique combination of design, project management and engineering capability
  • well-informed professionals who are up to date with the latest research.

To find out more, visit: www.outeng.co.za

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