This is a
transportation technology and technological developments in the culture of transportation.
Dionysus riding on a small galley-like craft in a painting from the
Dionysus cup by
Exekias, from c. 530 BC
Horse collars and cart between 1350 and 1375
1604 – The world's first recorded overland
wagonway, the 2-mile (3.2 km)
Wollaton Wagonway, is built by
Huntingdon Beaumont in
Nottingham, England, for the transport of coal.
 1616 - The first recorded mechanical ropeway was by
Fausto Veranzio who designed a bicable passenger ropeway 1620 –
Cornelius Drebbel builds the world's first known
submarine, which is propelled by oars (although there are earlier ideas for and depictions of submarines). 1644 -
Adam Wybe builds world's first cable car on multiple supports. It was the biggest built until the end of the 19th century.
 1655 - Stephan Farffler was a Nuremberg watchmaker of the seventeenth century whose invention of a manumotive carriage in 1655 is widely considered to have been the first self-propelled
wheelchair. 1662 –
Blaise Pascal invents a horse-drawn public
bus which has a regular route, schedule, and fare system. 1672 –
Ferdinand Verbiest built what may have been the first steam-powered scale
Early 19th century
Richard Trevithick ran a full-sized steam '
road locomotive' on the road in
 1803 – Richard Trevithick built his 10-seater
London Steam Carriage.
 1803 –
, generally considered to be the world's first practical
Charlotte Dundas steamboat, makes her first voyage. 1804 – Richard Trevithick built a prototype steam-powered
railway locomotive and it ran on the Pen-y-Darren Line near Merthyr Tydfil Wales. 1804 –
Oliver Evans (claimed to have) demonstrated a steam-powered
amphibious vehicle. 1807 –
Francois Isaac de Rivaz – the
De Rivaz engine, the first internal combustion engine using hydrogen as a fuel 1807 - The
Swansea and Mumbles Railway ran the world's first passenger
tram service. 1807 –
, the world's first commercially successful steamboat, makes her maiden voyage. North River Steamboat 1807 –
Nicéphore Niépce installed his
Pyréolophore internal combustion engine in a boat and powered up the river
Saone in France. 1807 –
Isaac de Rivas made a
hydrogen gas powered internal combustion engine and mounted it on a vehicle. 1809 - First stone laid of first '
guided bus' passenger
Gloucester and Cheltenham Tramroad. 1812 – First commercially successful self-propelled engine on land was
Salamanca Middleton Railway using toothed wheels and rail. 1812 –
Timothy Hackworth's "
Puffing Billy" ran on smooth Cast Iron Rails at Wylam Colliery near Newcastle 1814 –
George Stephenson built the first practical steam-powered railway locomotive "Blutcher" at Killingworth Colliery.
 1816 – The most likely originator of the
Bicycle is the German, Baron
Karl von Drais, who rode his 1816 machine while collecting taxes from his tenants. 1819 –
SS , the first vessel to cross the
Savannah Atlantic Ocean partly under steam power, arrives at
Liverpool, England from
Savannah, Georgia. 1819 - Denis Johnson invents
kick scooter. 1822 – Stephenson built a locomotive and designed the railway for Hetton Colliery which is first railway not to use any horse-traction but it did have several rope hauled sections.
1822 – First Meeting of Liverpool Manchester Railway Company Permanent Committee.
 1825 - Stephenson's
Locomotion No. 1 runs on
Stockton & Darlington Railway which opens as first public railway and uses horses and self-propelled steam engines and stationary engines with ropes along a single track. No stations and no timetables as anyone could hire the track to use their own vehicle on it.
 1825 –
Sir Goldsworthy Gurney invented a series of
steam-powered passenger carriages and by 1829 completed the 120-mile journey from London to
Bath, Somerset and back. 1825 - The first
suspension railway was opened at
Cheshunt, England, United Kingdom on 25 June. 1826 – Bill passed for
Liverpool and Manchester Railway at second attempt and George Stephenson commences work on 35-mile twin track line permitting simultaneous travel in both directions between the 2 towns. Means of traction not specified to reduce opposition.
 1828 – Stephenson's "
Lancashire Witch" runs on
Bolton and Leigh Railway line - a public goods line to connect
Leeds and Liverpool Canal and
Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal. Railway has rope hauled and self-propelled steam engines and single track.
 1829 –
Rainhill Trials to find best self-propelled engine for Liverpool Manchester line are won by Robert
Stephenson's Rocket proving there is no need for horse traction or static engines on the main line.
 Rocket becomes basic formula for all future steam engines with boiler tubes, blast pipe, and the use of coal rather than coke. 1830 –
Liverpool and Manchester Railway opens. First public transport system without animal traction, first public line with no rope hauled sections for main journey, first twin track, first railway between 2 large towns, first timetabled trains, first railway stations, first train faster than a
mail coach, first tunnels under streets, first proper modern railway which formed the template for all subsequent railways.
 1837 - The first
electric locomotive built in 1837 was a
battery locomotive. It was built by chemist
Robert Davidson of
Scotland, and it was powered by
galvanic cells (batteries). 1838 –
Isambard Kingdom Brunel's
SS , the first purpose-built transatlantic steamship, inaugurates the first regular transatlantic steamship service. Great Western 1839 - An early electric boat was developed by the German inventor
Moritz von Jacobi in 1839 in
Russia. It was a 24-foot (7.3 m) boat which carried 14 passengers at 3 miles per hour (4.8 km/h). It was successfully demonstrated to Emperor
Nicholas I of Russia on the
Neva River. 1840s –
Railway Mania sweeps UK and Ireland. 6,220 miles (10,010 km) of railway line were built 1843 -
Dalkey Atmospheric railway opens. 1847 - The first steam
railcar was designed by
James Samuel, the
Eastern Counties Railway Locomotive Engineer, built by
William Bridges Adams in 1847, and trialled between Shoreditch and Cambridge on 23 October 1847. 1849 -
Sir George Cayley's
gliders achieved brief wing-borne hops from around 1849.
Late 19th century
Late 19th century modes of transport, Japan.
First Zeppelin ascent, 1900
Elisha Otis invents the safety elevator. 1853 – Sir
George Cayley built and demonstrated the first heavier-than-air aircraft (a
1859 - First
model railway for
Napoléon, Prince Imperial. 1859 -
Gaston Planté invented the
lead–acid battery, the first-ever battery that could be recharged by passing a reverse current through it. 1860 - first urban horse railway line (a predecessor of trams), opened in
 1862 –
Étienne Lenoir made a gasoline engine
automobile. 1863 – London's
Metropolitan Railway opened to the public as the world's first underground railway. 1863 –
Hippomobile 1867 – First modern
motorcycle was invented. 1868 –
Safety bicycle invented. 1868 –
George Westinghouse invented the
compressed-air brake for railway trains. 1868 –
steam velocipede, a steam engine attached to a
 1869 -
Jules Suriray, a Parisian
bicycle mechanic, designed the first radial style
 1870 - First definite record of a
kicksled. 1874 - Midland railway introduces the first
bogie. 1875 - World's first
electric tram line operated in
Saint Petersburg, Russia, invented and tested by
 1880 –
Werner von Siemens builds first electric elevator. 1881 - World's first commercially successful
electric tram, the
Gross-Lichterfelde tramway in
Lichterfelde near Berlin in Germany built by
Werner von Siemens who contacted Pirotsky. It initially drew current from the rails, with
overhead wire being installed in 1883. 1882 - The
trolleybus dates back to 29 April 1882, when Dr.
Ernst Werner Siemens demonstrated his "
Elektromote" in a Berlin suburb. This experiment continued until 13 June 1882 1883 -
Mödling and Hinterbrühl Tram, Vipenna, Austria, first
electric tram powered by
overhead wire. 1884 -
Thomas Parker built a practical production
electric car in Wolverhampton using his own specially designed high-capacity rechargeable batteries. 1885 –
Karl Benz invents the first car powered by an
internal combustion engine, he called it the
Benz Patent Motorwagen.
 1887 - The first
Battery electric multiple unit (battery rail car) was used on the
Royal Bavarian State Railways.
 1888 - Flocken Elektrowagen built by German inventor Andreas Flocken, the first true electric car.
1889 - The first
tram-train to emerge in the United States was the Newark and Granville Street Railway in Ohio, which opened in 1889. 1889 - First introduced in 1889,
milk floats expanded use in 1931 and by 1967 gave Britain the largest electric vehicle fleet in the world. 1890s –
Bike boom sweeps Europe and America with hundreds of bicycle manufacturers in the biggest bicycle craze to date 1890 - The
City and South London Railway (C&SLR) was the first deep-level underground "tube" railway in the world,
and the first major railway to use
[note 1] electric traction 1893 -
Recumbent bicycles invented. 1893 - first
moving walkway debuted at the
World's Columbian Exposition. 1893 - The
Liverpool Overhead Railway opened on 6 March 1893 with 2-car
electric multiple units, the first to operate in the world. 1893 - Frank W. Hawley adapted an ordinary steam canal boat to a
trolleyboat (named after him), which was tested on the Erie Canal in the US.
 1893 - First
 1894 –
Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the
first motorcycle available to the public for purchase. 1895 - First motorbus.
The first internal combustion omnibus of 1895 (
Netphen) Siegerland, Germany, two passenger bus lines ran briefly, but unprofitably, in 1895 using a six-passenger motor carriage developed from the 1893
 1896 –
Jesse W. Reno builds first
Coney Island, and then reinstalls it on the Manhattan side of the
Brooklyn Bridge. 1896 - First battery powered
Ontario Southern Railway (Ontario). 1897 –
, the first vessel to be powered by a
Turbinia steam turbine, makes her debut. 1897 – Most likely the first
electric bicycle was built in 1897 by Hosea W. Libbey.
 1899 - The Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid was both the world's first hybrid vehicle, and the first
four-wheel drive without a steam engine. 1899 –
Ferdinand von Zeppelin builds the first successful
 1900 –
Ferdinand von Zeppelin launches
the first successful
Early 20th century
Early 20th Century modes of road transport in Dublin, 1929
1904 - The first non-experimental
trolleybus system was a seasonal municipal line installed near
Nantasket Beach in 1904; the first year-round commercial line was built to open a hilly property to development just outside
Los Angeles in 1910. 1906 - Early
hydrofoil used by
Enrico Forlanini. 1907 - The
London Electrobus Company started running a service of
battery-electric buses between London's Victoria Station and Liverpool Street on 15 July 1907. 1908 - the Kohlerer-funicular went into service in
Bolzano. It was the first modern (enclosed)
cable car in the world to carry passengers. 1908 – First mass-produced automobile-
Henry Ford develops the assembly line method of automobile manufacturing with the introduction of the
Ford Model T. 1910 -
Fabre Hydravion first seaplane. 1911 –
launched – First ocean-going,
Selandia diesel engine-driven ship. 1912 - The world's first
diesel locomotive (a diesel-mechanical locomotive) was operated in the summer of 1912 on the
Winterthur–Romanshorn railway in Switzerland. 1912 -
Articulated trams, invented and first used by the
Boston Elevated Railway.
 1914 - The first application of railway electric
traffic light signals was by the
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad's use of the US&S "Style L" colour light signal on their line through the Pacific Northwest. 1915
Hovercraft – First hovering vehicle was created by Dagobert Müller. It could only travel on water.
Motorized scooter invented. A British commission was tasked with creating a vehicle able to cross a 4 ft wide trench – the tank.
 1916 – First tank prototype, nicknamed "mother", was created by Britain during
World War I.
 1919 -
hydroplane launched by
Alexander Graham Bell. 1923 - First controlled
rotorcraft flight in
Cierva C.4. 1924 - The world's first functional
diesel locomotive (diesel-electric locomotive) (
E original number Юэ 001/Yu-e 001) started operations, designed by a team led by
el2 Yuri Lomonosov and built 1923–1924 by
Maschinenfabrik Esslingen in Germany. 1926 –
Robert H. Goddard launches the first
liquid-fueled rocket. 1928 - First
Moth (dinghy) built in
Inverloch. 1932 - The first electric
golf cart was custom-made in 1932, but did not gain widespread acceptance.
 1935 – First flight of the
DC-3, one of the most significant transport aircraft in the history of aviation.
 1939 - 20 June - First rocket powered aircraft, the
Heinkel He 176, takes flight. 1939 – 27 August - First
jet engine aircraft, the
Heinkel He 178, takes flight. 1940 - First fully articulated bus Isotta Fraschini TS40.
rocket covers a distance of 200 kilometres (120 mi). 1943 -
Traffic cone invented. 1947 –
Chuck Yeager in the
Bell X1 completes the first
supersonic manned flight.
Late 20th Century
A 0 series
Shinkansen high-speed rail set in Tokyo, May 1967
Concorde 001 first flight in 1969
Space shuttle launch
C5 enthusiasts gather at the
1950 - First
Heritage railway. 1952 - Supramar launched the first commercial
high-speed craft, a
hydrofoil. 1952 -
de Havilland Comet first commercial jet air liner. 1955 – First
USS , a submarine, is launched. Nautilus 1956 - Demonstration of
SR.N1, first modern hovercraft by
Christopher Cockerell. 1957
Sputnik 1 – First artificial satellite to be launched into orbit.
Gateway City – World's first purpose-built
container ship, enters service. First flight of the
Boeing 707 – First commercially successful jet airliner. 1959 - The first modern
fuel cell vehicle was a modified
Allis-Chalmers farm tractor, fitted with a 15 kilowatt fuel cell, around 1959.
 1961 –
Vostok 1, first crewed space mission, designed by
Sergey Korolyov, makes two orbits around the Earth with
Yuri Gagarin. 1962 - The first ascending-gliding parachute was developed by Pierre-Marcel Lemoigne in 1962.
 1964 -
high-speed rail. 1966 -
Caspian Sea Monster
ground effect vehicle introduced. 1967 -
Automatic train operation introduced on
London Underground. 1968 -
Space hopper invented. 1969
Salyut 1, first
space station, launched by
tram-train on heavy rail tracks developed. First modern
interurbans. 1975 –
Morgantown PRT, first
Personal Rapid Transit system to be installed. 1976 –
Concorde makes the world's first commercial passenger-carrying supersonic flight. 1977 - The first
semi-automated car was developed in 1977, by Japan's Tsukuba Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, which required specially marked streets. 1980 - Modern
guided bus passenger service introduced in
 1981 – Maiden flight of the
Space Shuttle. 1981 - The first fully
Automated guideway transit driverless
people mover train technology introduced on
Port Island Line, Japan. 1983 - First
Automated guideway transit driverless metro, and one of the first fully driverless train technologies,
Véhicule Automatique Léger introduced in
Lille Metro, France. 1984 - First commercial maglev, albeit low-speed opens in Birmingham.
Sinclair C5, the first mass-produced electric battery
velomobile launched. 1989 -
Snakeboard invented. 1990 - First transport simulation computer game
Railroad Tycoon released. 1990 -
ADtranz low floor tram world's first completely low floor tram introduced. 1994 –
Channel Tunnel opens. 1994 - Modern
kickbike invented in Finland. 1997 – First
Maglev train prototypes are tested in Japan. 1997 -
Toyota RAV4 EV, first
nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH) electric car.
Toyota Prius first mass-produced full hybrid car. 1997 -
Nissan R'nessa, first short-run production
lithium-ion battery electric car. 1998 - First ion-propulsion spacecraft
Deep Space 1 launched. 1998 - Honda Raccoon Compo, first
folding electric bicycle in Japan.
 1999 -
Trikke (wiggle scooter) invented. 2000 - Honda Step Compo, first
folding electric bicycle internationally available. 2000 -
TransMilenio, first modern
bus rapid transit.
2001 - Germany trials
capa vehicle hybrid buses in Nuremberg using an ultracapacitor to store electrical energy.
 2002 –
Segway PT self-balancing personal transport was launched by inventor
Dean Kamen. 2003 - Concorde makes last passenger flight.
 2003 - First modern
Ground-level power supply technology,
Bordeaux tramway. 2003 - Germany introduces
capa vehicle trams in Mannheim.
 2003 -
NE Train trials first
hybrid train to use lithium-ion batteries.
 2004 –
First commercial high speed Maglev train starts operation between Shanghai and its airport.
 2004 - First modern urban transit aerial cable car
 2008 -
Tesla Roadster, first mass production lithium-ion battery electric car. 2009 -
Škoda 15 T world's first completely low-floor tram with articulated bogies introduced. 2010s -
Mobile apps and online platforms for finding, planning, offering and booking affordable public transport such as buses as well as
bicycle sharing and
carpooling emerge and are becoming popular along with associated transportation infrastructure networks (examples:
 2010 –
ULTra (rapid transit), the first modern commercial
Personal Rapid Transit system to be installed. Started operations at
Heathrow Airport. 2010 -
IKAROS spacecraft launched with
solar sail propulsion. 2013 -
Self-balancing scooter invented. 2015 - In March,
China South Rail Corporation (CSR) demonstrated the world's first hydrogen
fuel cell vehicle tramcar at an assembly facility in Qingdao.
 2015 -
Navya SAS launch first autonomous bus, Navya Autonom Shuttle at
Sheba Medical Center, Israel.
 2016 - First
hydrogen fuel cell powered passenger aircraft flight
DLR HY4. 2017 - First 100%
Ground-level power supply technology, TramWave, opening of
Zhuhai tram China.
 2018 - First driverless
trams in Potsdam, Germany tested.
 2018 - First mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell car,
Toyota Mirai. 2018 - First electroaerodynamic thrust winged
Ion-propelled aircraft test flight of
MIT EAD Airframe Version 2 using
 2018 – First commercial
hydrogen-powered passenger train,
Alstom Coradia Lint, launches in
 2019 - The
Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit opens in China. ~2016-2021 – Various first advanced trials of various types of autonomous delivery vehicles.
Transportation technologies in society
2020 – The
COVID-19 pandemic, partly due to
lockdowns, temporarily drastically reduces the use of surface (including
air transport technologies.
Cycling is an exception to this and increased during the pandemic, along with bike-sales.
 2022 – A study for the first time attempts to assess and quantify
cars (i.e. car-use, etc.) by quantifying
 2022 – A study estimates the
air pollution impacts on climate change and the ozone layer from rocket launches and re-entry of reusable components and
debris in 2019 and from a theoretical future
space industry extrapolated from the "
billionaire space race". It concludes that substantial effects from routine
space tourism should "motivate
 2023 – A study outlines challenges of
aviation decarbonization by 2050 whose identified factors mainly are
future demand, continuous
efficiency improvements, new short-haul engines, higher
SAF (biofuel) production (including measures that affect their competitiveness and deployment),
CO to compensate for non-CO 2 removal 2 forcing, and related policy-options. With constant air transport demand and aircraft efficiency, decarbonizing aviation would require nearly five times the 2019 worldwide
biofuel production, competing with other hard-to-decarbonize sectors and land-use (or
Milestones in autonomous sustainable / public transport vehicles are also listed in this section.
2020 - CR400BF-C '
Fuxing Hao', a variant of CR400 Fuxing series, running on
Beijing–Zhangjiakou intercity railway is the world first high-speed rail service capable of driverless automation in commercial operations. The specific Grade of Automation (GoA) was not announced.
 Early 2020s - Multiple electric,
autonomous buses open for public transport – albeit with a local professional driving-assistant – are being launched around the world
after the first such bus started operating for the general public in a Swiss town in 2018. 
 2021 – The pilot project of the "world's first
automated, driverless train" is launched in the city of
Hamburg, Germany. The conventional, standard-track, non-metro train technology could, according to reports, theoretically be implemented for rail transport worldwide and is reported to also be substantially more
 2021 – The world's first urban
Roboats, are deployed in the
canals of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The ships developed by three institutions could carry up to five people,
deliver goods, and provide "on-demand infrastructure".
 2021 – The first
autonomous cargo ship,
MV is launched in Norway. The fully
Yara Birkeland electric ship is expected to substantially reduce the need for truck journeys.
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