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Gap analysis is a methodical investigation throughout the whole area of a given technology for ‘gaps’. Thus highlighting inadequate areas in existing technology that are open to speculation with a view improvement.
For example a study for the analysis of transportation technology, using the aspects:
- Maximum range
Three areas well served by existing improvement are:
However, between these exist three gaps (between pedestrian and car, car and aircraft, and beyond the aircraft range) in which consumers considered existing means of transport less satisfactory. Between walking and car travel, for instance, there are many forms of transport available:
- Motor scooter
- Underground train
None of these realize the need perceived by town planners for a mass transport system, possibly continuous, operating at a speed of about five times the walking rate, for distances of between half a mile and three miles.
Between motor transport and conventional aircraft, there are helicopters, short-take-off aircraft and hover-trains, but all need improvement. Finally, supersonic aircraft for distances greater than 700 miles are still not easily accessible.
These gaps are representative of areas where creative input in a descending order of demand is an option (the requirement of a mass transport system traveling at 20 miles per hour is a lot greater than a requirement for supersonic transport in terms of the numbers who wish to travel at these speeds).