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Welcome to the September 2017 issue of Voices on Infrastructure, a compilation of insights from McKinsey and industry experts on navigating big disruptions in transportation.

Today, our transportation systems are on the cusp of unprecedented change. These articles explore how new technologies are redefining mobility—and what they could mean for society as we sew these advancements into every aspect of our daily lives. These narratives coalesce around three key themes:

First, our physical transport infrastructure is seeing the deployment of new sensors that support safety, maintenance, and real-time communication with vehicles of all kinds. These smart technology advancements will redefine how we interact with the infrastructure around us and how we develop the vehicles and pathways that move both people and goods.

Second, the way we power vehicles is being transformed. Innovations range from electric vehicles—already increasingly the norm—to even more radical ideas as seen in Sweden. There, officials are experimenting with electrified roads and highways that, if deployed at scale, could dramatically reduce the environmental impacts of freight transport and serve as a model for others around the globe.

Finally, we are seeing experiments that integrate new infrastructure technologies, new power approaches, and new vehicles all in one. Hyperloop technology proponents, for example, promise an end-to-end transportation revolution in how we move, what we move, and what we’re sitting in when we move.

With disruption playing out simultaneously across all three of these fronts (infrastructure, power, and technology), what are the implications for businesses, households, and governments? In this issue of Voices, our authors weigh in on how public-sector authorities, shipping stakeholders, and senior leaders can and must adapt to new, evolving norms. We hope these thoughts illuminate ways in which today’s transportation leaders can adopt novel thinking on how to compete, succeed, and thrive. No one knows exactly how the future will play out, but it is clear it will look and operate much differently than it does today.

–Tyler Duvall
Partner, McKinsey & Company

–Stuart Shilson
Senior partner, McKinsey & Company

More Articles

Article

Despite—or because of—low rates, service is bad and shippers are angry. The port-and-shipping sector must and can improve, not only for shippers, but also for the lines and ports themselves.

John Murnane, McKinsey & Company

Article

The new world of transport will demand different skills, capabilities, and culture.

Lisa J. Caswell, Christina E. Coplen, and Jonathan R. Visbal, Spencer Stuart

Article

Self-driving vehicles, ride-hailing services, and other technologies are transforming urban mobility. To capture the benefits of the shift, cities will need sound infrastructure plans and investments.

Shannon Bouton, Eric Hannon, Stefan Knupfer, and Swarna Ramanathan, McKinsey & Company

Article

The journey to a ticket-free transit system—and the path ahead.

Shashi Verma, Transport for London

Article

How electrification is helping Sweden meet its environmental sustainability goals.

Lena Erixon, Trafikverket

Article

Transportation will be dramatically different in ten years. To adapt, public entities and stakeholders must act today.

Steffen Fuchs and Rafat Shehadeh, McKinsey & Company

Article

Proponents of the high-speed technology envision an end-to-end revolution in transportation.

Nick Earle, Hyperloop One

Article

Connectivity could dramatically change the commute of the future.

Roland Busch, Siemens

Videos & Podcasts

Video

How can airports incorporate design and customer experience strategies to craft positive end-user journeys? Executives from McKinsey, JFK International, Orlando International Airport, and CCR USA weigh in on how airports can center customer experience.

Video

Today’s airports must evolve to meet growing demand, new technologies, updated security requirements, funding pressures and rising customer expectations. These forces will grow stronger, as will the complexity of projects and the public’s desire for transparency into performance. McKinsey leaders joined executives from some of North America’s busiest and largest airports to discuss major issues facing the sector today.

Video

Today’s airports must evolve to meet growing demand, new technologies, updated security requirements, funding pressures and rising customer expectations. These forces will grow stronger, as will the complexity of projects and the public’s desire for transparency into performance. McKinsey leaders joined executives from some of North America’s busiest and largest airports to discuss major issues facing the sector today.

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