Inspiring Innovations for the Future of Transportation
By Russ Kuhn, MAML University Development Counselor
Grand Canyon University, Medford
The coach is in
Our means of transportation are constantly changing. To put things into perspective, a decade ago cabs were the most popular form of transportation and now ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber have taken over, generating 65% more rides than taxis in 2017.* As technology continues to advance, newer, more innovative methods of transportation have been brought to light and are currently being assessed. One exciting transportation innovation, which is currently in its testing phase, is an autonomous vehicle. You may have recently seen an autonomous or self-driving vehicle in your neighborhood as a growing number of cities have approved their pilot programs. While there are many questions that must be answered before autonomous vehicles are deemed safe for the average citizen, there is no doubt that their time is on the horizon. Another exciting transportation innovation is tunnel-based transit. Elon Musk turned heads with his latest venture, The Boring Company, and their proposal to build tunnel-based transit systems. Musk then turned heads once again when he unveiled test tunnels in Los Angeles, proving just how serious he was about this idea. While tunnel-based transit sounds great in theory, the rides through the LA tunnels were reported to be quite uncomfortable proving we still have a long way to go before Musk’s dreams become a reality. An additional mode of transportation, which is proving to be better in theory, is an electric scooter. Thanks to companies including Bird, Lime, Spin and Skip, e-scooters have taken up residency in many big cities. While pedestrians seem to flock to them, looking to embrace the latest trend, they’ve been involved in a number of lawsuits. The overarching claim of these lawsuits is that e-scooters are unsafe for riders, drivers and pedestrians. Not only do riders simply leave the e-scooters once they’re done using them, obstructing sidewalks and streets, but they can be seen zipping in and out of traffic with little regard to those around them. Additionally, helmets are not provided for the rider, resulting in yet another safety hazard. While these innovative modes of transportation are exciting, they all have their kinks. It will be interesting to see how they progress over time and, on the bright side, this just means we’re getting one step closer to living like The Jetsons in our flying cars. *Statistic only includes rides taken in New York.
About the Author:
Russ Kuhn is a University Development Counselor at Grand Canyon University. Kuhn brings more than 30 years of global leadership experience to the Rogue Valley as the Medford-based UDC. He serves as the local face and brand ambassador to support GCU’s mission and help students start their educational journey.

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