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History of transportationtransportation as civilization

Fast, efficient transport is critical to civilization and a high living standard. Without it, cities could not exist, and families would have to live close to the land, gathering and growing their own food. The materials and manufacturing plants needed to produce the electricity, communications, lighting, medicines and medical care, etc. etc. that we all depend on, would not be possible without good transport. We literally would be back in the Stone Age.

While only a few modes of transport have emerged over human history, an almost unlimited variety of expressions have developed for each mode. As the technology matures for a given mode, its capabilities reach a practical limit - that is, further gains in speed, efficiency, carrying capacity, and so on, are only marginal if they occur at all.

This maturing process provides the impetus for discovering new modes of transport that offer dramatic performance improvements, in speed, efficiency, and cost.

The first transport mode in human evolution was bipedal walking, which occurred about 2 million years ago. Without bipedalism, we still would be swinging through the trees or traveling with our knuckles on the ground. Without free hands and opposable thumbs, we never would have developed the capability to make and use tools - the keystone, along with intelligence, for technological civilization.


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