Emerging Technology and Tomorrow’s Geography

Our “Big Questions” series brings together leading scholars, former policymakers, and top industry experts to tackle critical questions. In the third part of this series, we asked five experts the following:

Advances in technology could unlock new possibilities for transportation and production. Hyperloop promises to shuttle people and goods at over 700 miles per hour. 3D printing could upset traditional production and supply chains. The Internet of Things could dramatically reduce costs by automating and optimizing processes. How might these and other emerging technologies reshape today’s economic geography?

In our first response, GE Transportation’s Chief Digital Officer Seth Bodnar explains how giving trains and other cargo vessels the ability to “think” – collecting, processing, and enacting data – could revolutionize the transport and logistics industry.

In our second response, Bruce Upbin describes how the Hunchun-Zarubino Hyperloop could propel Russia to the forefront of transport innovation and become the first step toward developing a truly twenty-first century Silk Road.

In our third response, Dr. Mary R. Brooks debates whether or not automation at ports is a disruptive enough technology to change the competitive landscape of global trade – particularly within Asia, which has the fastest growing container trade in the world.

In our fourth response, Melba Kurman explores how autonomous vehicle technology could impact transportation and trade in Asia.

In our final response, Dr. Christopher Hang-Kwang Lim discusses how 3-D printing could disrupt traditional supply chains in Southeast Asia and fundamentally redirect the regional economy.

Read our first and second big questions here.