Briefs: Mobility + Transportation

Wildcard: GPS Failure

GPSFailure_miss_hg_flickr

The Global Positioning System (GPS) maintained by the US government is one of several Global Navigational Satellite Systems (GNSS). GNSS technology, including GPS, provides positional, navigational, and timing (PNT) data and supports a wide array of critical systems in transport, communications, finance, natural resources, safety and emergency services, location-based services, and the military.

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Rising Giants: Companies Welcome

Gabriel White flickr

The landscape of global business is changing. While World 1 economies still dominate the global business landscape, more and more companies based in World 2 and even World 3 are making their presence known on a worldwide scale.

These rising giants are not only serving — and in some cases dominating — their home markets, but they also are increasingly seeking to expand into other markets, both from other emerging economies and from developed economies. The growth and expansion of companies from emerging economies will dramatically transform the global business landscape in the next two decades.

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The Future of the Auto Industry

Image: Marianna, Flickr creative commons for commercial use

Over the last century, the auto industry has put more than 1 billion vehicles on the world’s roadways—and continues to add more. Over the last five decades, the industry has averaged sales growth of 3% per year—double the growth of the world’s population over that period.

Yet the automobile industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Sales in what have traditionally been the industry’s strongest markets have leveled off in recent decades, but they continue to grow rapidly in emerging markets, especially China.

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The Future of Low-Carbon Vehicles

Image: pictruck340, flickr creative commons for commercial use

In Europe and most advanced economies, government regulation and growing consumer interest are driving the development and deployment of vehicles that reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and resultant carbon emissions.

While the expanding market for more sustainable vehicles does not yet signal the imminent demise of the internal combustion engine, the combination of consumer demand and regulatory pressure will accelerate the shift toward hybrid, electric, and alternative-fuel vehicles over the next two to three decades.

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Smarter Roads: Innovations in Roadway Infrastructure

Highways Agency

The wealth of time and interest devoted to the development of smart cars in recent years often overshadows equally significant advancements in a related sector: the roadways that such cars will navigate. Smarter roads may not have received as much attention as the advent of smart cars; however, governments, entrepreneurs, and innovative companies have been allocating substantial research and development resources toward their creation.

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The Future Impact of the Panama Canal

Panama_dsasso - flickr

When the Panama Canal opened in 1914, it revolutionized shipping, dramatically cutting the amount of time it took to ship goods to North American and South American ports, both east and west. But as trade between the Americas and Asia grew in the 20th century, the engineering marvel known as the Panama Canal became increasingly obsolete.

Massive ships that carried up to three times the freight of ships a generation earlier became more prevalent in the shipping industry. But these supersize ships were too big to navigate the Canal.

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