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Fourth Industrial Revolution’s positive effect on transportation in Jordan

Nov 15,2018 - Last updated at Nov 15,2018

The new fourth technological revolution started to fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another. The transformation is unlike anything humankind had experienced before. The revolution is a combination of technologies that is obscuring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres. We do not know yet how it will develop, but one thing is very clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive.

Within the next 10 years, the world will experience more changes in the transportation industry than the last 50 years. Actually, the transportation industry has never experienced such rapid evolution. Vehicles, trains, ships, aircraft, customer behaviour, digitalisation and much more are changing. Although the changes are creating new opportunities in the global market, real challenges will face players who decide not to transform.

Due to the rapidly evolving technologies and the rising price of petroleum, new technologies and mobility designs are coming to light. Battery electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell vehicles, electrified high-speed rail, electrified and supersonic trains, nano-scale ships, full electrification of commercial aircrafts and much more are used or going to be used in the very near future.

On the other hand, and most importantly, with several mobility options in the industry, the younger generation is caring about arriving from point A to point B. Thus, the transportation industry will shift from a product mentality, to service mentality that revolves around the customer. Mobility services will be the new game. Thus, the main question that shall be focused on in this context: Is Jordan prepared for the new mobility options and references?

Countries traditionally distinguish themselves in certain industrial aspects in order to compete and develop. However, by focusing on mobility services, Jordan might become the leading country in the region. For instance, the Bus Rapid Transit, or what should be truly called “Regular Speed Bus”, in Amman may partially solve certain traffic problems but will never be part of the new transport technologies that evolved at present, unless it is an electrified one. 

Electrified buses are part of the new technologies that we should look for. Electrified trams might also be part of the solution since narrow-spaces are needed on the road routes to install them, whether within the suburbs or even to connect Amman with the nearby governorates.

The Amman-Aqaba, Amman-Ramtha and border routes also need electrified high-speed rail. Such rail would carry goods and passengers. In addition, electrified trucks, which are used at present in many countries, can also be used as a second mobility service. Those mobility services would be the current solution for reducing costs of transportation, and in consequence, would attract traders in the neighbouring countries to choose Jordan as their main route to receive their goods from all over the world.

In fact, the geographical position of Jordan proves that Jordan still has the opportunity to be a hub mobility service for the region.

 

The writer is professor of Maritime Commercial Law at the University of Jordan. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times. [email protected]

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