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.
Partner, McKinsey & Company
Senior partner, McKinsey & Company