Try to picture the transport of the future, and you might imagine driverless cars, jet packs or even teleportation. But how about the humble train?
Shipping is the main carrier of worldwide trade, transporting 90% of all goods. It is highly likely the screen you are reading this on made its way to you by sea. Despite this, the industry produces less than 3% of all CO2 emissions. However, with the global economy expected to grow by 130% between now and 2050, shipping emissions are projected to soar as global trade increases.
Orkney, a sparsely-populated archipelago 10 miles off the northern tip of mainland Scotland, is not an obvious place to go looking for the future. Yet the windswept islands have become one of Britain’s foremost centres for innovation in renewable energy — including the use of hydrogen as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.
Earlier this month (This article was first published on October 17 2016 on https://qz.com/807828.) the first fleet of autonomous vehicles offered rides for the first time. The cars, sedans outfitted with a host of camera and sensors, weren’t fully autonomous (according to Pennsylvania law they must be manned by a living, breathing human until they are no longer in testing mode), but their drivers were as hands-off as possible, quite literally.