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BUND
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cars:
- you have to drive them, requiring effort
- currently chuck out killer chemical
- break down
- road rage
- you cant drink and drive
- quite dangerous

Buses:
- slow
- not point to point
- there really are smelly people on buses
- intimidating for odler people
- sometimes unreliable
- bus drivers are, on the whole, cocks.

Trams and trains:
- require large capital investment
- not point to point, requiring further travel

Cycling:
- dangeorous
- roads unfriendly
- way too much effort
- cant do long distances

Walking:
- slow
- roads unfriendly
- way too much effort
- cant do long distances
- effort

I'm going to predict that within 50-70 years, all forms of public transport, bar possibly the UK high speed train line providing it can do speeds of 200-300 from london to edinburgh, will be defunct. It would do away with all the negatives below.

Surely personal transport will take over? Standardised automated transport will gradually take over as vehicles learn to drive themselves. Motorways will have the sort of stuff seen in Minority report, with these personal transport devices going at mega speeds down our motorways. Road capacity will be massively increased, accidents will be almost wiped out (apart from those choosing to be old school and get out their cars, or those biking around) Standards will be created and one will win the battle - everyone will be using the same technology. I reckon biking will increase in popularity though- with quiet efficient personal rapid transit around, space for bike lanes could be made much bigger an better.

I think that what im thinking is inevitable and I know this is what we thought the world would already be like 50 years ago, but i reckon it will happen. The technology is coming together...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_rapid_transit
http://www.i4u.com/40656/google-automated-car-drives-itself

What does everyone else think?
 

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INACTIVE
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Will all the cement mixers and tippers to build these new roads be automated too? and all the white vans?
Yes. Obviously. Or they wouldn't be allowed on the roads in the first place. You'd only need manual controls on actual construction sites, but this is hardly a major problem: there's no need for complex manual controls on such sites: a steering control and a simple forward / reverse control would be more than sufficient given the low speeds permitted in such areas. Last time I checked, you were very likely to get the sack if you decided to belt around a construction site at 90 mph.

The technology needed to provide a fully automated system doesn't actually require major road rebuilding up-front. You could do it with roadside transceivers. It's the vehicles themselves that would need to change the most, but the technology could be phased in starting tomorrow if the government had a mind to.

Even contactless power transmission could be achieved by placing coils under the road surfaces, thus eliminating the need for massive batteries. You'd only need enough juice to get from your driveway (if you have one) onto the the road network. A ten-mile range would be more than sufficient.

Granted, 4x4 owners might be a tad peeved that they can't drive off-road, but that's a small price to pay for not killing 3000 people / year, I think.
 

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Until the British change their psyche of transport modes competing with one another, instead of complementing each other (integration), it will continue to fall behind in quality of life because transport, and its wider effects on society, are ignored.

Looking to the Netherlands, bicycles and trains are work together, to provide a competitive end-to-end journey time in comparison to the car.

Likewise, Transferium/P&R sites encourage drivers to switch to buses in order to access city centres, rather than building out of town/suburban centres, which weaken the offer in the urban core.

I don't think PRT will take off myself. Trials in Daventry haven't amounted to much and the Heathrow T5 scheme isn't much more than a glorified car park shuttle.
 

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...
I'm going to predict that within 50-70 years, all forms of public transport, bar possibly the UK high speed train line providing it can do speeds of 200-300 from london to edinburgh, will be defunct. It would do away with all the negatives below.
Surely personal transport will take over?
Perhaps that would explain why, according to the most recent press releases, the Heathrow PRT is still on target to go live in June 2010.

Presumably that is the next time we have a June 2010, for it surely wasn't the June 2010 that happened earlier this year.
 

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INACTIVE
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Perhaps that would explain why, according to the most recent press releases, the Heathrow PRT is still on target to go live in June 2010.

Presumably that is the next time we have a June 2010, for it surely wasn't the June 2010 that happened earlier this year.
I've pointed out myself that, if you're building your first flagship demonstration of your newfangled technology, it's probably not a good idea to open it until you're 100% certain all the bugs and kinks have been ironed out.

Also: debugging software is a pain in the arse, and software is likely to be a major part of the delay. (I can't say for certain, but it does seem unlikely that there's much more they can do with the mechanical stuff, short of improving the ride.) Think of the current state of software development as akin to building skyscrapers using block and tackle and flint axes. The tools of the trade have barely evolved since the 1970s, and they're very much showing their age.
 

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BUND
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think the only problem that you guys are having is that you are imagining the visions from the 60's in your head. I'm not.

You dont need virtually ANY government spending for this to happen. The heathrow transport is totally unrelated to this really. Any infrastructure is uneccesary. You dont need roadside tranceivers, you dont need anything, apart from the roads that are already there...

Within a few years there will be cars that properly drive themselves (on the market). Then all you need is for some place to allow these cars to do the journey completely unassisted (as opposed to needing someone in the driving seat as currently). The reason why this hasnt happened since the 60's is because we simply havent had the technology, but its coming together.

Then once a critical mass of self driven cars is established, car sharing could take off. Then ultimately you could sign up to your own car network, order a car and it would be right there outside, and would go exactly where you want, and would be much quicker because there would be lower inefficiency.

Bet ya.
 

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I take it you are referring to the MIG ("Made In Germany") self-driven Passat vehicle, rather than various forms of PRT suggested for this country, such as in Derby or Cardiff Bay then?

Most journeys in the UK are less than 5 miles, which especially when in urban areas, could be better served by other modes, such as bicycles or urban transit.

Cars are best suited in rural or sparsely populated areas, where congestion doesn't exist, so the technology isn't required.

Why wait 20 to 30 years, as the scientists developing this technology suggest, to improve urban roadspace capacity, when you could do it within years by investing in sustainable, cheaper, quicker, alternatives?

Why should our quality of life be beholden to car manufacturers and the price of oil?
 

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I think the only problem that you guys are having is that you are imagining the visions from the 60's in your head. I'm not.

You dont need virtually ANY government spending for this to happen. The heathrow transport is totally unrelated to this really. Any infrastructure is uneccesary. You dont need roadside tranceivers, you dont need anything, apart from the roads that are already there...

Within a few years there will be cars that properly drive themselves (on the market). Then all you need is for some place to allow these cars to do the journey completely unassisted (as opposed to needing someone in the driving seat as currently). The reason why this hasnt happened since the 60's is because we simply havent had the technology, but its coming together.

Then once a critical mass of self driven cars is established, car sharing could take off. Then ultimately you could sign up to your own car network, order a car and it would be right there outside, and would go exactly where you want, and would be much quicker because there would be lower inefficiency.

Bet ya.

I believe DARPA is doing extensive research on this topic but has not been able to obtain it's goal.
The application for this technology is not just for transportation on streets but also on future rover scouts in hostile zone as well as unmanned planetary exploration missions which I think which got it started in the first place.
The last time I checked, the rovers are still ramming into obstacles within a predetermined course so I do not think it is going solo for a long time.
 

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Minion
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I think you're a tad off the charts with your plans. People will still need to get to work, those who cannot afford a personal motor vehicle or chose not to. You may have got confused with the difference between road vehicles and trains :D :D :D

What I would say is that public transport will probably get cleaner and more fuel efficient, probably hybrid with some form of electric system. Keeping away from rails and trams as the infrastructure costs are too high but getting the roads in a better state.

At the moment, next to commuters, pensioners are the largest userbase of public transport at the moment. If you don't beleive me you want to be on a bus at 0930 most days and otherwise quiet routes are 'heaving' with pensioners using their free bus pass. Whilst some do have cars, the majority don't. Then you have youths, a lot of unemployed who cannot afford the hefty insurance, car tax, and general cost of ownership of a personal/private motor vehicle.

Whilst there are some 24/7 bus services the main ones in my local area run from 0600-0000.

stimarco;65910431Granted said:
1. You will always have the option for 'Manual Drive'. People don't want to be tied down all the time you know, then there are the emergency vehicles that will need to break the speed limit as well. Otherwise what is the point of them.

As for your stats of killing 3000 a year, do you have an official source? They may be large and ungainly but IIRC the new mini is the same wheelbase as a Landrover, and most modern 4x4s are more fuel efficient than large family vehicles. Some are not, I grant you. V8s, V6s and other large petrol engines do consume a lot of fuel but most have now converted over to dual fuel such as LPG, which is currently half the cost of petrol (60p/L compared to 122p/L in the West Midlands).

However. Car ownership has no doubt increased because over the years the traffic congestion has got worse although there are flaws in the plan. A local large employer offered an 'incentive' if their staff used public transport. What this involved was a lot of them using the 'out of town' park and ride systems, maxing out the facilities (meaning visitors have to park elsewhere) whilst the company's new large site in the City which has about 7 floors of multi-storey parking is about half empty. So they drove in from the neighbouring City rather than take the train all the way there, which is where the plan originally planned for.
 

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Concerto Grosso
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I've pointed out myself that, if you're building your first flagship demonstration of your newfangled technology, it's probably not a good idea to open it until you're 100% certain all the bugs and kinks have been ironed out.

Also: debugging software is a pain in the arse, and software is likely to be a major part of the delay. (I can't say for certain, but it does seem unlikely that there's much more they can do with the mechanical stuff, short of improving the ride.) Think of the current state of software development as akin to building skyscrapers using block and tackle and flint axes. The tools of the trade have barely evolved since the 1970s, and they're very much showing their age.
Have you ever read "No Silver Bullet" by Fred Brookes? It makes an interesting comparison about the essence of software (The complex stuff that really is the problem you're trying to solve) and accident - accident being things that can save a bit of time (Bits of autogeneration, IDEs, etc - stuff that makes life easier for a project.) The point is that the complexity of the problem can't be solved by tools (Even tools like Matlab require the developer to create a complex model that can still be open to problems.)

Theoretically there's been advances since the 1970s, but a lot of this theory is hard to apply (Although some of it has been used - OCCAM was based on Process Algebra, for example.)

The main problem is that software projects are complex and no amount of tools or debugging aides can help identify all problems. Techniques as software failure mode and effects analysis can help identify problem areas (i.e. you analyse potential failures and then investigate if they can happen - sort of like the inverse of an FTA.)

Fagin Inspections can also help identify problems. Debugging is a costly process and debugging systems in the field is even most costly and potentially dangerous if the system has safety critical issues.

I'm constantly going to meetings set up by non technical managers where they've dragged in some tool (Usually static analysis type of things) that make outrageous claims. In all cases they cost a fortune, and give little return. Most problems are found by good testing strategies, good review processes & general good practises in development. All this stuff takes time, and I can't envisage any time in the near future there's going to be a silver bullet to solve it.
 

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Concerto Grosso
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However. Car ownership has no doubt increased because over the years the traffic congestion has got worse although there are flaws in the plan. A local large employer offered an 'incentive' if their staff used public transport. What this involved was a lot of them using the 'out of town' park and ride systems, maxing out the facilities (meaning visitors have to park elsewhere) whilst the company's new large site in the City which has about 7 floors of multi-storey parking is about half empty. So they drove in from the neighbouring City rather than take the train all the way there, which is where the plan originally planned for.
Are you talking about Severn Trent in Coventry?

Coventry is the commuter's wet dream - virtually all its employment is out of town. It's far easier for people to commute in by car than by public transport (I'd say for most people public transport is virtually useless in Coventry for getting to work - including the railway which has small stations built for car factories that are no longer there and a central station surrounded by empty office buildings!)

And they're still building vast out of town business parks. Why on Earth did ST move into the centre of a city that people don't generally want to live in?
 

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Minion
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Commuting can be made easier. A friend at the moment is commuting to Wolverhampton daily for work. Catches a bus to the train station, then the train to WV.

And yes, I was talking about STW ;) It has been an intersesting build and much nicer now the cranes have gone from the horizon, although they were the only ones with anti-collision lights fitted and working.

There are always things that can be changed, sometimes for the better. There is a balance in life that is not so easy to get with regards to transportation, not that anyone listens to us mortals of course :D

Westwood Business Park is one of the 'out of town' employment places. There are four major routes to it. Via the A45 then past the Crem and down Charter/Mitchel.

In past the University or from the other end of Charter Avenue and also that road that goes past the old C&W place. However, the road still gets congested badly at rush hour times which is expected.

There was a regular bus that went from the City to Westwood, the 19w. However, due to lack of numbers this was chopped to peak times only, and even then a short walk gets people over to catch either the 12 near the University or the 19/19x up on Charter Avenue. Most people there use cars though. At chucking out time it can get pretty clogged up because they've timed it with the University traffic too! ;)

Of course, if you really want to see a bad design, then how about the modern University Hospital at Walsgrave? They have ONE access road IN and OUT, and that includes the emergency access. Ok, they have quite a lot of carparking but for the Staff it's expensive apparently and for visitors even more expensive. However, there are good bus links for at least 3 operators. Stagecoach, TWM and DeCourcey with regular services. But even they get delays with the inevitable traffic build up. With the UH there is the problem of where else to put an 'Exit' road. I guess they could have been nifty and dropped it onto the dual carriageway leading to the M6/M69.

Looking at the map there is a close access point to Farbar Road but that is gated there, and then it is not far to the Eastern Approach, but then of course you have to worry about the on/off slip so that would be rather expensive. However. I can see a few roads that would be interesting to try for photography purposes :D
 

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I'm going to predict that within 50-70 years, all forms of public transport, bar possibly the UK high speed train line providing it can do speeds of 200-300 from london to edinburgh, will be defunct.... Surely personal transport will take over? Standardised automated transport will gradually take over as vehicles learn to drive themselves.
I predict that there will be fuel rationing and a fuel shortage. Electric powered public transport will be the norm, and the only personal transport will be restricted to walking, bicyles and horses. Roads wil be so quiet that they become much safer with fewer accidents.

If you're extremely optimistic, you will hope for a huge breakthrough in solar power and battery technology, but I doubt that this will be sufficient to power the size of petrol powered personal cars that we enjoy driving at present.
 

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Minion
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Yeah, Kettledrum, I see your point and agree. Of course, with electric vehicles the electric still still has to come from somewhere ;) Hopefully renewable energy systems will have improved to what we have now.
 

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I predict that there will be fuel rationing and a fuel shortage. Electric powered public transport will be the norm, and the only personal transport will be restricted to walking, bicyles and horses. Roads wil be so quiet that they become much safer with fewer accidents.

If you're extremely optimistic, you will hope for a huge breakthrough in solar power and battery technology, but I doubt that this will be sufficient to power the size of petrol powered personal cars that we enjoy driving at present.
I counter-predict that fuel costs will remain relatively high, but supply will be secured, as the higher oil prices will spur more oil exploration, leading to more discoveries that will meed rising demand, unless of course 'political peak oil' gets in the way (see http://alfin2300.blogspot.com/) .

Electric cars, despite massive subsidy, will only meet a small 'niche' but will prove to be poor value as they will fail to penetrate the market due to their high costs and limitations (which at the moment puts it in direct competition with other short range modes of city-based transport).

Meantime, advancements in biofuel and microbial based fuel technologies will bring into the mainstream drop-in renewable hydrocarbon fuels. This will offset and eventually replace traditional petroleum production as production prices undermine the cost of oil extraction and production.

HSR will prove to be poor value for money being affordable only for the business elite to use, and not much use to people along the route (as there's no intermediate stations!) - investment will instead be diverted back to conventional trains and other forms of public transport, with cross modal smart cards. There will be some modest expansion of the UKs highways with work to tackle properly (i.e. not just a few traffic lights) poorly designed junctions to ease flow. It is likely that this will be locked in though road tolls which will replace fuel duty as a tax regime (since the shift to renewable hydrocarbons will eliminate the CO2 concerns). The cross modal smart card will be used as a way to pay for tolls with cross incentives (not penalties) to encourage cross-modal shift - e.g. free road miles can be earned if you travel on bus or train which can be spent in your own or a friends car.
 
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