by Vas Mylko
Curiosio focuses on road trips because of this vision:
- Road trips are the most flexible point-to-point door-to-door way of travel. You see more scenery en route, you stop where and when you want. There are no transfers needed, there is no friction in comparison to multi-modal transportation. There is no last-mile problem.
- Road trips are not vulnerable to disruptions, unlike mass transport. Avia service is vulnerable to disruptions because of weather, terrorist threats, delays & connections, banned electronics, mechanical issues, health emergency, regulators. High-speed rail service is vulnerable to half of the list. And the number of labor strikes is creeping world wide.
- Self-drive is an experience itself. Driving and speeding in performance vehicles will flourish. What was affordable to rich continues to become affordable to the middle class. Self-drive will become a popular upscale experience in the future.
- Riding as a Service will become ubiquitous. Travelers call a ride from the app, pick-up and drop-off happen via API, no need for parking. Uber allows long-trip rides for a while already.
- Self-driving will eventually become a reality and utility. Self-driving vehicles are tightly related to Riding as a Service (aka robotaxi). You use self-driving mode to go through the traffic, to get to the hotel, and switch to self-drive on the scenic route for emotions.
Several research teams have shared the data so that new startups could pick up and come up with breakthrough ideas to make it work right. In case you want to dig deeper and contribute to self-driving, here are curious data sets for you:
In mass transport, you are one in hundreds. You sit with other passengers, you breathe the same air for hours. Infections mostly spread from person to person. The more contact you have with people, the greater the likelihood you are exposing yourself to infection. Beware of closed space only and don’t worry in the fresh air.
High-speed railway trains in developed countries carry ~50–70 passengers per car, the capacity similar to Embraer ERJ145 and Bombardier CRJ700. There are cars with 100 seats by design. There are cars with 100 seating and 200 standing passengers. 400+ passengers per rail car during peak hours is common for Mumbai train made by Siemens.
Boeing 737–400 carries up to~190 passengers. Boeing 737–800 seats ~160–190 passengers. Boeing 747–400 can carry 660 passengers in a high–density one-class configuration; used for Japan domestic service. Airbus A320 carries 180–186 passengers. Airbus A321 carries 220–240 passengers. Embraer ERJ190 carries 100, ERJ195 carries 120. Bombardier CRJ900 carries ~90, with plans for 100.
There are max 5 persons in a full-size road car, 7 in big SUV, and 8 in a van. Fly to/from the geographic region, drive within the region.
Road cars will become green. Electrical cars will not pollute air anymore. But airplanes will continue to pollute, which will result in ecology tax, which will impact the airfare — air tickets will become more expensive.
France is set to introduce an ecotax for all flights from French airports. The tax is expected to raise about €180m from 2020. It is max 18 euro per ticket so far, but from 2021 it may be higher. Germany adds green tax in the range 8–45 euro per ticket. Sweden announced a comparable flight tax in the spring of 2018. In France, the money raised by the tax will be invested in less-polluting transport, such as rail. But we already talked about rails vs. health.
Rail is a viable alternative in Europe, but that’s not the case in the US. When US airlines get taxed, and the tickets get more pricey, there will be a direct impact on the rise of road trips. Americans are the road trip nation. Americans will remain the road trip nation. Asia most probably will follow the green trend, because of international agreements on ecology. In October 2016 the UN agency International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) finalized an agreement among its 191 member nations.
In 1883 Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach designed a horizontal cylinder layout compressed charge liquid petroleum engine that fulfilled Daimler’s desire for a high-speed engine which could be throttled, making it useful in transportation applications. This engine was called Daimler’s Dream. Several days ago Daimler development chief said that they currently have no plans to develop a next-generation combustion engine and they are focusing on new electric powertrains. The road car is dead, long live the road car!
Curiosio will have experiences/activities in travel itineraries. We will take them from Viator, Klook, Peek and integrate. What is interesting here is our long term vision. It is shared gamified digital play.
Self-driving vehicles are computers on wheels. Their computing could be leveraged for en route and in situ digital experiences. Curiosio is being designed with a vision for augmented reality road trips. What is gaining popularity on feet today will expand to the wheels in the future.
Each groundbreaking technology comes in several waves. Road cars are undergoing electrification. Self-driving is undergoing a new wave of R&D. Augmented reality is undergoing a new wave of R&D. We bet these technologies will work well after 2020. Electric + self-driving + augmented reality will resonate together. Road trips are going to flourish.
This is Curiosio vision of future travel for independent travelers. Though we are thinking about multi-modal transportation periodically, now we are focused on road trips.