Saturday, 23 July 2016

Why Africa will leave us behind later this century


We're still building railways - nineteenth century technology albeit jazzed up with improved kit. Africa - on top of sophisticated mobile telephony (and banking) - will have this:

Norman Foster is often hailed as the inventor of the modern-day terminal-style airport with his design of London’s Stansted. And now, his new plan is to build the world’s smallest airport. For drones. The dynamic, futuristic technology of drones is still mostly associated with the military. But the endless opportunities of the speedy and compact air vehicles are quickly being discovered as their use is expanding in commercial, scientific, recreational and other applications. It is estimated that over a million civilian units were sold in 2015.

Who needs expensive multi-lane highways when, for a fraction of the cost, you can zip in the goods, medicines, and people needed to make the place tick on a drone? And then watch the produce of formerly remote - now connected - places fly off to serve the world. Brilliant.

In the (currently) rich world we're stuck with a creaking and high maintenance transport network because, in a world of drones, autonomous cars and driver less buses, we've convinced ourselves that the answer is spending all the spare cash on high speed trains.


1 comment:

DorsetDipper said...

well ... up to a point. I worked for a bank that had a presence in many African countries, and the view there was that Africa was improving, and middle class activity was becoming much more prevalent and entrenched in many countries. However ... HIV was causing a considerable strain on many countries, and I came across this today - changes in height. The decrease in heights in some sub-saharan countries is not an indicator of improvement.