Globe-trotting expats can expect the way they travel to change as technology and data merge to provide new ways for transport to connect.
Research suggests that travel, transport and IT organisations will join forces to offer a seamless, single ticket travel experience across road, rail and air with real-time information about times and delays flashing up on data-fed glasses, like the new Google Glasses.
The World Economic Forum report reckons the data feed will throw up alternative routes and connections so travellers can avoid delays and even allow booking car rentals on the move as the old ticket is cancelled and a dynamic new route is planned.
For drivers, sat-navs on steroids will flag congestion, alternative routes while city authorities could shut down routes to high emission vehicles, increase tolls or despatch electric buses or trams as alternative transport to improve the environment.
Check out the new check-in
Harnessing technology could also make check-in and security queues a thing of the past at border and airport controls as passports and visas are standardised worldwide
Biometric information held on a central database only accessed by governments can identify travellers by photo, iris and fingerprints – and even hold DNA.
“These options will change the way we live and travel – and the technology to make them work is already available and just needs someone to pull the strands together,” said Boston Consulting Group senior partner Antonella Mei-Pochtler, who co-directs the World Economic Forum Connected World project.
“Integrating data and technology with public participation will revolutionise industries across the world. Business leaders need to jump onboard to create the framework that will make these ideas fact not science fiction.”
Barriers to implementing many of these technologies mainly arise from governments and corporations failing to work together.
The report does acknowledge that the idea of a super connected international database needs selling to the public, who may be concerned who has access to their personal information and how it is used.
Crime and terrorism implications are also high on the list of safeguarding the intelligence.
The report also highlights several other scientific discoveries that might improve travel and transportation, including Star Trek style holographic communication and driverless cars.
For cars, the report predicts ownership will switch from personal vehicles to public ‘swarm’ fleets that drivers opt in to on a pay-as-you-go subscription.
All this is likely to happen a lot sooner than many expats might think – with a key date of 2025 discussed by the report’s authors.