Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Transport System

Now, I know there are some major flaws in this, I just don't know what they are. Feel free to rip apart. (Winces.)

Instead of cars, you have little pods covered in solar panels. The solar panels will probably not generate enough power to power said pods, but they'd help; you could also cover the rooves of houses with them, and possibly even the gaps in the rails that they would run on. These pods can be purchased and installed upon the rails. All the roads in the country are removed and replaced with rails (bear with me). The pods then, using the solar energy, run around on these rails, and when they run out of solar energy then they can switch to non-renewable energy.

All the roads are connected to a computer which knows exactly where each pod is (though not who it is owned by or who is inside for privacy's sake). When you get inside the pod, you tell said computer where you want to go (like sat nav) and it works it out and sends you off. Roundabouts and stuff can be worked out with this computer. (In games such as Grand Theft Auto they have managed to successfully simulate working areas of roads, so it isn't that big a leap.) There would be a set speed that these pods can go (the speed limit could often be increased if more pedestrian crossings were built), and so we wouldn't really have the problem of speeding. The pods themselves could be made incredibly secure, as no glass would need to be present, since you don't need to see where you are going. (If you wanted windows you could possibly pay extra for cameras and screens hooked up live to each other or whatever.)

The most obvious problem would be changing the current system. You could, however, convert cities (or areas of cities) into pedestrian areas with these little pods and tracks, one at a time, and have systems like the Park and Ride governing them. These could then be gradually connected up until people in the more rural areas would have to drive to a station and get one of these pods. You could have larger pods to act as public transport, and possibly even larger ones to allow the transport of goods.

The benefits would be huge. For one, people of any age could go anywhere and not have to rely on parents for lifts (though obviously some sort of parental control would need to be implemented). The fuel would be much cleaner, and it would solve car crime, congestion, etc. You could even have seperate rails for emergency services.

The big problem is money, as usual, but still...

As I said, there must be more problems with this that I haven't seen, so feel free to rip apart. It'll only result in a wasted bus journey on my part.


At 11:59 pm, Blogger Sable X. Veins said...

An interesting proposal, though I personally would have preferred if it if it were lightly fictionalised (as Glands says, "I refuse to listen to anything until someone tells it to me in story form").

I recall a similar suggestion on Tomorrow's World years ago, though yours is superior.

For a start, TW suggested that roads be kept, which would require vastly more complex software and safety procedures than your rails system. Also, it would not allow the rail gaps to be paved with photoelectric cells, which is a clever use of space. Furthermore, I see no reason why, by the time (many years from now) that such a system may be financially practical to implement, we need have the fossil fuel backup engine. Photoelectricity is progressing steadily towards being a financially and productively viable source of energy.

Your suggestions of gradual conversion seem pragmatic.

Having separate rails for emergency service (and presumably military) use seems like wastage to me. It also limits the manoeuvrability and flexibility of services to the rails themselves. I suggest 4x4s and low-flying aircraft.

Oh, and I think that the biggest problem is not money. Funding would be a formidable obstacle, but more formidable still would be the oil lobby.


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