We’re deep into the 21st century now, and our technology shows it. From AI that turns the lights off to innovative medical treatments, there’s never been a more advanced time to be alive.
Evolutions in fields like transportation have made it easier to travel in your town and explore the vast, wide world if you’d like to.
Horse and buggy travel is a thing of the past (aside from the few cultures that still use it). But we’re still not quite at the “flying cars and hoverboards” stage of getting around yet.
Still, our vehicles today look a lot different than they did a few decades ago. Wondering what the top modes of transportation are? Some of these four may surprise you!
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Most people attribute the first car to Henry Ford, but Carl Benz actually has this honor. His patent application was on January 29, 1886, and was considered the ‘birth certificate of the automobile.’
Benz’s first car was three wheels, released in July 1886. By the time Ford developed his car, the Industrial Revolution was deeply entrenched in America. This made it cheaper and easier to get vehicles and car parts.
Now, almost everyone has their own car, although they don’t look like the old Model A’s from 1903. Today’s cars are so advanced, they can, quite literally, drive themselves.
The average car in 2021 has a quiet engine and a loud sound system. Cruise control, anti-lock brakes, and dual air conditioners would have been science fiction up until around 1950. We take these features for granted and want more.
Nearly 300 million registered cars are used in the U.S. regularly. It’s the most common form of transportation almost everywhere you go around the world.
Two-wheeled bikes without engines started the dream. Since then, we’ve gone from steam-powered two-wheeled vehicles to today’s sleek and sexy Harleys, considered by many to be the epitome of a motorcycle.
Hogs, as they’re often called, aren’t as popular as cars, but their numbers are surging. Over 8% of households own one. And with the price of gas continuing to rise, many people are turning to motorcycles as their preferred method of transportation.
Although the bikes themselves have come a long way, it’s still considered one of the most dangerous ways to get around. Nearly 60% of people in a motorcycle collision end up with fatal injuries, as opposed to 15% in a passenger car.
When cars first came out, the thought of getting in one driven by someone we didn’t know would have been ridiculous. Today, we pay complete strangers to pick us up and drive us around—and sometimes there are other people we don’t know in the car!
Ridesharing is quickly becoming the preferred method of transportation in big cities. It can be cheaper to pay for a daily driver than to buy a car, cover insurance, and foot the bill for a parking space.
Still, although 93 million people in the U.S. use rideshares like Uber each year, this type of transport has its downfalls. As with any car, it’s possible to end up in a collision. When that happens, the legalities can become complicated fast.
It’s difficult enough to handle the red tape after a regular accident. Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare company crashes require special care. JT Legal’s article explains the nuances of the multiple kinds of rideshare collisions and what to do if you’ve been in one.
No, these aren’t motorcycles.
We’re talking about your regular, non-engine, foot-powered bicycles. And people love using them so much that they’re the next most popular form of transportation.
Biking is an athletic activity, of course. However, the ‘green movement’ and the rising cost of gas has ‘fueled’ millions of people to purposely take their bike to work or on errands.
Nearly 50 million people ride bikes regularly, and about one million of them use their cycle in place of a car.
In fact, bikes are so popular that companies rent them out in cities all over the world. Riders can head to a bike rack, enter their credit card, and unlock a bicycle. When they want to turn it in, they leave it on the side of the road, and a company rep picks it up and returns it.
The same idea applies to segways, which work as a human transporter as a cross between walking and riding a bike. The rider stands on two feet and the machine propels them to their destination.
With the technology we have today, it’s not surprising that so many innovative types of transportation are available. Still, many people like to stick with the basics, and biking and walking are worldwide methods of travel.
You’ll see people flying, riding trains, and taking buses. But these four modes of transportation are consistently in the top four for this far in the 21st century.