Timelines :: Transportation

transportation-tl“Many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase” (Dan 12:4).

BC Fixed wheels on carts are invented – the first wheeled vehicles in history. Other early wheeled vehicles include the chariot.

River boats are invented – ships with oars

Horses are domesticated and used for transportation.

200 AD
The wheelbarrow is invented.

Iron horseshoes improve transportation by horse

Leonardo da Vinci first to seriously theorize about flying machines – with over 100 drawings that illustrated his theories on flight

Dutchman Cornelius Drebbel, employed by James I of England, built the first working submarine on the Themes river.

Blaise Pascal invents the first public bus – horse-drawn, regular route, schedule, and fare system

Jacques de Vaucanson demonstrates his clockwork powered carriage

First practical steamboat demonstrated by Marquis Claude Francois de Jouffroy d’Abbans – a paddle wheel steamboat

The Montgolfier brothers invent the first hot air balloons

Steamboat invented

First self-propelled road vehicle invented by Nicolas Joseph Cugnot

Modern bicycles invented

Richard Trevithick invented the first steam powered locomotive (designed for roads)

Isaac de Rivas makes a hydrogen gas powered vehicle – first with internal combustion power – however, very unsuccessful design

First steamboat with regular passenger service – inventor Robert Fulton’s Clermont

George Stephenson invents the first practical steam powered railroad locomotive

Jean Lenoir makes a gasoline engine automobile

First motorcycle invented

George Westinghouse invents the compressed air locomotive brake – enabled trains to be stopped with fail-safe accuracy

First cable car invented

Karl Benz builds the world’s first practical automobile to be powered by an internal combustion engine

Ferdinand von Zeppelin invents the first successful dirigible – the Zeppelin

The Wright Brothers invent and fly the first engined airplane

Very first helicopter – unsuccessful design

Henry Ford improves the assembly line for automobile manufacturing

Hydrofoil boats co-invented by Alexander Graham Bell & Casey Baldwin – boats that skimmed water

First liquid propelled rocket launched

Modern helicopters invented

First supersonic jet flight

Hovercraft invented

Bullet train invented

First manned mission (Apollo) to the Moon

First jumbo jet

Space shuttle launched

Magnetic Levitated train  – One of the latest advances is the development of Magnetic Levitated train or MagLev train for short. By using magnetic force, MagLev trains “float” in the air (levitation) above the track without the need of any physical support, thus removing all the friction between the train and the track. The phenomenon of levitating an object with a magnetic force is known as magnetic levitation. In a stable magnetic levitation, the weight of the levitated object is balanced by the magnetic force.

First American Woman in Space – Sally Ride became the first American woman in space when she rode aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Shuttle Main Engine Margin Improvement Program – Improvements to the SSMEs for increased margin and durability began with a formal Phase II program in 1983. Phase II focused on turbomachinery to extend the time between high-pressure turbopump overhauls by reducing the operating temperature in the high-pressure fuel turbopump and by incorporating margin improvements to the HPFT rotor dynamics (whirl), turbine blade and HPFT bearings.

Shuttle Discovery – First launch flight of Space Shuttle Discovery.

Space Walk – First space walking woman Kathryn Sullivan, October 5, 1984.

Space Lab Mission: last successful mission of Space Shuttle Challenger on October 30, 1985.

Improvements to Space Shuttle Main Engine Margins (SSME) – To certify the improvements to the SSMEs and demonstrate their reliability through margin (or limit testing), an aggressive ground test program was initiated in December 1986. From December 1986 to December 1987, 151 tests and 52,363 seconds of operation (equivalent to 100 shuttle missions) were performed.

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster – occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger  (mission STS-51-L)   broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members.

H.R. 3350 Airport and Airway Improvement Amendments of 1987. A bill to amend the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982 for the purpose of extending the authorization of appropriations for airport and airway improvements, and for other purposes.

Hubble Space Telescope Launch – April 1990.

Tilt-and-Roll Luggage – Northwest Airlines pilot Robert Plath invented tilt-and-roll luggage as travelers beforehand had to carry suitcases in their hands, toss garment bags over their shoulders, or strap luggage on top of metal carts.

Ballistic Electron Emission Microscopy or BEEM is a technique for studying ballistic electron transport through variety of materials and material interfaces. BEEM is a three terminal scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) technique that was co-invented in 1988 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California by L. Douglas Bell and William Kaiser.

The United States Federal Transportation Equity Act – for the 21st Century (TEA-21) was enacted June 9, 1998, as Public Law s 105-178. TEA-21 authorized the federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for the 6-year period 1998-2003.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the security of the traveling public. Since its inception multiple complaints of passenger abuse by TSA screeners have been reported and captured on tape. It was signed into law on November 19, 2001 by George W. Bush. The TSA operates in U.S. airports but a government  expansion under the banner of “security” into other modes of transportation and various public locations is being considered.

The Bullet Train – Japan celebrated 40 years of high-speed rail in 2004, with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen line alone having carried 4.16 billion passengers. According to Japanrail.com, the website for companies that operate Shinkansen, the network has carried over 6 billion passengers.

U.S. Advanced Air Transportation – The United States has advanced air transportation infrastructure which utilizes approximately 5,000 airports with paved runways. In terms of passengers, seventeen of the world’s thirty busiest airports in 2004 were in the U.S., including the world’s busiest Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. In terms of cargo, in the same year, twelve of the world’s thirty busiest airports were in the U.S., including the world’s busiest, Memphis International Airport.

Gas Prices Rise – Over the past several years, gas prices have hit increasingly high starting points. Greg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com stated that on December 31, 2008, average gas prices were around $1.61 per gallon.

On December 31, 2009 the prices were up to $2.64.

On March 8, 2010 Consumer Reports issued documents that the price of gas ranged from $2.75 a gallon to $3.05 depending on location.

Hybrid Cars – Compact Power Inc. factory opened on July 14, 2010 in Holland Michigan. The company received $151 million in federal Stimulus money to open the plant, which makes lithium cells for plug-in hybrids. The regulatory stats for smaller, lighter cars have proven to be less safe with a history of high-death tolls. The cost of hybrids is very high to comparably equipped gasoline vehicles ranging from ($1,700 to $11,200). Most consumers are not eager to risk their lives in exchange for a very small battery-operated car.

Gas Prices Still Climbing –  As of September, 2011 the average price for gas was $3.56, the highest ever up to this point for a year,  although Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service predicted Americans would also buy the most gasoline ever — $490 billion worth. As of September 26, the average price of gasoline was $3.51, with California at $3.89 for the highest in the U.S., and Missouri at $3.21 for the lowest.

Seegrid Vision Guided GT10 Tow Tractor – Pittsburgh, PA-based company, Seegrid, expanded its vision guided Robotic Industrial Truck product line with the launch of the powerful GT10 Tow Tractor at ProMat2011 on March 21, 2011.The Seegrid GT10 Tow Tractor has a 10,000 lb tow capacity, is vision guided, travels without a worker and does not require wires, tapes or lasers to work in operations.

Record High Gas Prices – The New Year brought with it the highest gas prices ever as reported by CNNMoney. Some analysts predict prices could come close to $5.00 per gallon in some areas. GasBuddy.com expects bigger increases coming and that the median U.S. gas prices will stand at $3.95 per gallon. Some cities could expect record high prices by Memorial Day, with Chicago residents paying up to $4.95 a gallon and New Yorkers up to $4.55.

Little Ben, A Self-Driving Toyota Prius – The Daily Pennsylvanian posted a story on April 1, 2012 about a self-driving car, Little Ben who successfully passes tests worthy of a driver’s license. The computer is considered a robot with computer vision. The car was created by Engineering Professor Daniel Lee at Penn State and a number of his colleagues in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, at Penn State in 2007.

Hyperloop train is a new innovation rising on nearly airless tubes at 800 mph, the train will transport you from LA to San Francisco in just about 30 minutes. This new technology is in development by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc.

Maglev trains are gaining popularity. A magnetic force lifts and propels the train using a minimal amount of energy compared to diesel-powered or electric-powered trains. These trains are already operating in Shanghai and Japan.

Autonomous vehicles  are being tested by Google. It now uses a fleet of about 24 Lexus RX450h  logging in about 500,00 mile son California roads. Other prototypes are also on the road.

Smart cars continue to make progress in an attempt to solve transportation problems in major cities.

Urban transport pods are being developed by Transport Systems catapult is a system where the human operator interacts with the pod using a touch screen in the windshield; which includes swiping to select a destination, and you can read the daily news, you can check can your email or even play a video game during the trip. The pod operates on its own, showing its current route. Similar pods are already being used in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and at the London Heathrow airport under careful supervision.

The World Bank and EMBARQ, the sustainable transport program of the World Resources Institute hosted the 11th annual Transforming Transportation conference at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. This conference focused on how to use transportation in cities by increasing mass transit and reducing personal transportation choices for individuals (personal cars, etc.).

Apple has stated it is ready to expand the company into the car industry expecting to release its own car by 2019. Apple making a move into the car industry could represent one of the most important moments in the history of transportation according to investment analysts. The opportunity for tech firms to disrupt the auto industry is large enough to fundamentally and permanently change how investors view transportation.

2016 may be remembered as the year humans were challenged to give up the steering wheel.  In  the past 12 months, Uber launched a fleet of robo-taxis in Pittsburgh, Google started talking about how to commercialize its autonomous tech, and an Otto truck hauled 50,000 cans of Budweiser across Colorado with an empty driver’s seat.

The advent of driverless technology gives rise to a number of daunting questions: Will driverless passenger vehicles make public transit obsolete? Will mobility options become increasingly privatized as driverless technology is broadly adopted? Should transit agencies stop investing in their future fleets, as driverless vehicles subsume demand for public transit?