Google’s Self-driving car. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Transport:Modern Developments in Transport: Road transport

  • With technology advancement, increase in human population and growth in national, regional and international trade, there has been tremendous improvements in all modes of transport for good and people.
  • The main aims of these improvements are to increase speed, efficiency, safety and comfort.
  • These developments differ between developed and developing countries.

Road transport

  • In developed countries, large 6 to 8 lane highways are being constructed to link major urban settlements for example the London to Merseyside motorway, with very elaborate interchange to other towns built along the way.
  • Road surfaces are smoothed, with traffic signals working efficiently and road signs placed at convenient points.
  • Modern buses with air-conditioning, music and videos transport people daily.
  • Each route has well-schedule timetable and number of buses allocated to it.
  • Where buses are not enough then taxis can help passenger movement.
  • For private cars, more luxurious saloon vehicles with power steering and locking devices have been produced by assembly lines to provide comfort and safety to drivers.
  • Tyres being manufactured can withstand great speeds and pressure changes without bursting.
  • In urban areas, special parking lots have been established for the urban commuter, complete with security for the cars.
  • On heavy vehicles, containerization is the main development which has taken place.
  • A container is a large steel box which is lockable.
  • Goods are placed inside these boxes which are then locked and loaded onto heavy vehicles.
  • The supplier locks and retains one key while the buyer has the other key to unlock the container when it arrives.
  • The driver simply transports, without even knowing the contents inside.
  • Containerization has the advantage that goods are safe from both thieves and weather elements.
  • Handling is easy and fast as the containers are loaded and unloaded mechanically using cranes.
  • Damage is kept at a minimum and the container can be used for storage at depots.
  • In developing countries, development of roads has meant building more roads and re-surfacing them.
  • Older roads are widened and road signs and traffic signals are installed.
  • More modern buses such as the Yutong¬†are replacing the older versions such as the AVM.
  • Commuter omnibuses are widely in use to transport passengers.
  • Police highway patrols in speedy cars, monitor speeds and roadblocks account for unroad- worthy vehicles.
  • All this is done for the safety and comfort of the travelling public.
  • Bus terminals have shelters to protect travelers against weather elements.
  • Battery operated vehicles such as those from Tesla
  • Hybrid vehicles that save fuel
  • Driver-less vehicles also known as self-driving cars that can drive themselves using Artificial Intelligence
  • The use of phone Apps to hail, order and pay taxis for example Uber and Lyft

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page