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Effects of technology on transportation - Essay Example

Technology is a general term referred to the processes by which human beings fashion tools and machines to increase their control and understanding of the material environment. Along years historians of science argue that not only that technology is an essential condition of advanced, industrial civilization but also that the rate of technological changes that has developed its own momentum in recent centuries. Innovations now seem to appear at a rate that increases geometrically, without respect to geographical limits or political systems. These innovations tend to transform traditional cultural systems, frequently with unexpected social consequences. Thus technology can be conceived as both a creative and a destructive process.

Moving on to effect of technology on transportation it was noticed that right from middle ages innovations in transportation revolutionized the spread of technologies and ideas across wide areas. Such devices as the horseshoe, the whiffle tree (i.e for harnessing animals to wagons effectively) , and the spring carriage speeded the transfer of people and goods . Important changes also took place in the marine technology.

The development of the deep keel, the triangular lateen sail for greater maneuverability, and the magnetic compass (in the 13th century) made sailing ships the most complex machines of the age. A school was established by Prince Henry of Portugal to teach navigators how to use these machines effectively. Perhaps more than did Copernicus’s astronomical theories, Prince Henry’s students changed humanity’s perception of the world. Today we have advanced to such extent that we never imagined of in early centuries, whether it’s the wheel, the jet engine, or the computer chip.

Nowadays transportation not only means technology but a system of technology, people, energy, money, and more, advancement in technology play a key role in shaping transportation systems, which in turn help to shape our lives, landscapes, and culture. Because transportation is so important to commerce, as in literally and figuratively because of which so much is dependent on it, it has been the focus of an enormous amount of inventive activity. Corporations have invested billions of dollars in improved technology. Individuals have sought their fortunes in breakthroughs big and small.

There are some of the technological advancements that have undergone drastic improvement over the years. Transportation technology can be divided in to 4 types of mechanized systems available today. LAND, AIR, SEA . Land Old were the times when people had to use animal powered vehicles or mechanized human powered vehicles (MHP’s) such as bicycles, ski blades which needed immense human effort to move from one place to the other. Today the invention of automated human powered Systems or (AHP’s) effortlessly yet efficiently allows the transport of people and goods at a faster rate and is less time consuming too.

AHP’s include mechanized systems such as cars, two wheelers, trucks, trams, monorails, and trains. These AHP’s soon got popular and were also known as the most commonest mode of transportation since most of the population needed to travel to short vicinities and found these mechanized systems very useful. After quite sometime a noticeable environmental problem arose which was of great concern as it was said to aggregate the process of global warming.

The reason for this problem was the exhaust produced from the combustion of fuel inside these AHP’s which were having a high content of Carbon Dioxide , Carbon Monoxide , Oxides of Nitrogen and lead compounds , which in excess is undesirable and could prove harmful to environment. Carefully studying this problem , researchers at the Harvard University were able to develop an hybrid series of mechanized system which use wood or electric current as fuel. These new vehicles were proven to be efficient and comparable to normal vehicles which run on diesel (petrol) but turned out to be expensive it was mainly because of the newly developed engine which was sophisticated.