Mass Transit needs a revolution

by @jehiah on 2006-03-14 06:02
Filed under: All, Articles, SoapBox, Trains, transit

Ian Bicking can be all over the board with his posts, but this on on the subject of mass transit is right on the money, and I agree 100%.

Mass transit as we know it today sucks, is horrible for families and is not accepted as a partial solution. Busses are horrible and their service is inconsistent and nonexistent at certain parts of the day (or night).

We need smart transportation to begin happening even if it isn't mature technology. Ian makes that point that we need in-mature technology because the current mature technology has nothing more to offer us.

I once saw a java based demo of an intersection between two six lane highways where cars passed through each other coordinating their exact approaches on the fly. It allowed for both directions under full traffic to travel at full speed without need for the stoppage that intersections of today cause. (if you can find a link, or remember this demo, please post it below).

We need cars that can take of the driving and follow closer than drivers can safely. The DARPA Grand Challenge is a step in the right direction to mature that technology, but it needs more attention. Admitadly the chaallengers did much better in the How have our billion dollar auto manufacturers failed to come up with any workable technology yet? They should be ashamed. There should be virtually every car manufacturer dominating that race. Instead it's all academics? I saw ideas on paper like this 10 years ago of volvo semi's which followed each-other within inches increasing their efficiency dramatically. where is it?

Makes me want to say the heck with it all and give it my best effort to develop a mesh network for cars. At least i would have tried and jumped in with both feet.

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