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
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.