A great deal of attention is given to
gas mileage optimizations, hybrid cars, and alternative fuel
sources. But this quickly becomes a case of chasing
diminishing returns. So why not broaden our thinking?
Why not create a system that also eliminates traffic fatalities, is
environmentally friendly, and makes our lives easier? That's
what PRT is all about.
It's easy to imagine that mankind will
not be driving automobiles a thousand years from now. Or even 200
years from now. So when? The technology required to
implement the PRT already exists. Given the inherent limitations
of our existing transportation system, why not reap the
benefits of a better system now?
So where do we go from here?
Clearly PRT is an undertaking of vast proportions. Much R&D will be
required to finalize countless aspects of the design before committing
to one particular specification. Ideally funding would be made available such that the major engineering colleges could
pair with appropriate industries (automotive, software, etc)
to develop competing designs. Fortunately the idea of
individualized vehicles running on tracks is not new. A handful of
very dedicated individuals have been pushing various PRT (Personal Rapid Transit)
concepts for many years. They invariably differ from PRTProject in scope since they're designed to coexist
with the automobile rather than replace it...running at airports or down
major thoroughfares, but the good news is that MUCH of their work
applies directly to this concept.
To see more of these concepts, visit the
Great PRT reference:
Finally, attempting to predict the future of
transportation is always risky business. Take a look at this wonderful movie
by Disney from way back in 1958...
While most of their predictions seem outlandish in
hindsight, the idea of fully automated transportation is inescapable.
If you have feedback on the concept, feel free to contact me...
For more about me, click