Amod Dange

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Physical Internet - A framework on which to run transportation "apps" such as "schoolbus", "ambulance", "commuter", etc.

The biggest cost of the manually driven automobile is -- you guessed it right (or did you?) -- TIME!! There are more than 250 million vehicles in the United States, with an average commute time of 100 hours/year. If the entire nation switched to automated transport, we would gain 25 trillion hours a year. Productive use of a fraction of this time will have a significant impact on GDP. Imagine: No drunk driving, no parking, no mechanics, not even a DMV!


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    Seema C

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    Feb 17 2011: Good to know about the ULTA and zipcars.
    But I wish to differ with you on the point of no parking and mechanics. These two concepts certainly apply to the new technology solution as well. But are well managed.

    As you initiated this idea, I would also like to add the most impportant part (as per my perception)n would be that the CO2 immision would be under control. Times saving does comes into the additional advantages. The CO2 immision is important because we need to be considerate about what we leave for our children and their children too.
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    Mar 4 2011: Hi All,

    I just wished India and mainly metros had such fast transports. Especially feels bad to get stuck in traffic for 2 hours after a tiring long work day. I plan to write to our Mumbai transport department to consider such advanced mechanics.

    Vasil, these might not be cost effective first but they would save polution and time. Or maybe cost effective for people to not own a car and pay for the fuel. I am not sure... just a thought
  • Feb 28 2011: I'd personally like to see the gradual zoning out of personal transport in cities: with good enough public transport, there's really no need for cars. Or people could cycle, or walk.

    However, this does raise the issue of transporting goods around town, e.g. I want to buy a sofa, but if I don't have a car, how do I get it home? Thus I would *love* to see "goods-buses", which you could take large items on. This really would completely get rid of the need for personal transport in cities.
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    Feb 18 2011: Thanks for the response, Seema. Environmental impact is naturally one of the main objectives.

    There are many innovative transportation solutions emerging across the world. I am suggesting that we treat individual transportation solutions as "transit apps" (much like software apps) and create an open source standards-based transit framework to host these apps. It would be infinitely scalable and continuously upgradable. There is no reason successful software development methodologies can't be applied to physical infrastructure development.
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    Feb 16 2011: Yeah... with all improvements to cars in recent years, you'd expect someone to come up with a reasonably good "auto pilot" at least for city travelling.

    There's two reasons this isn't a fact:
    1. Too many ambiguities on the road today. Most current auto pilot implementations rely on people following the rules and the infrastructure being in good condition, but more often than not, that's not the case. There are subtle problems humans can detect and make out in a second, but which a machine has a hard time doing.
    2. All systems in which the problems above are not present, including all of the ones you linked to, require the building of a separate infrastructure, which isn't cost effective, to say the least.