[clug] An idea

David Austin david at d-austin.net
Fri Aug 19 03:42:29 MDT 2011

On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 7:08 PM, Sam Couter <sam at couter.id.au> wrote:

> Edward C. Lang <edlang at edlang.org> wrote:
> > If you could call busses on demand, why would you need to know where
> > they are?
> >
> >
> https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Morgantown_Personal_Rapid_Transit
> Hell yeah! Why have these systems not progressed at all in the past 50
> years? We can do way better.

In November 2008, I proposed a buses on demand system to both the
Greens (who didn't bother to respond!) and the Labour party (Stanhope
replied that it wasn't the place of government (never mind that the
ACT is one of the most regulated transport markets around)).

> Automated vehicles are getting to the point where a taxi no longer needs
> a driver.

As a robotocist, I don't think that this is quite true.  Certainly there is
off-the-shelf solution and I can't see our Microsoft-dependent government
taking on this level of risk.  If the mooted (ridiculous, IMHO) busways
ever get built then I hope that they are made suitable for automation,
but I just don't think that automated driving in free traffic with our
current road (and marking quality) will work.

> You call it, it turns up and takes you anywhere within your
> local area or to the nearest transport hub for longer trips. You don't own
> a car. The taxi is electric and can be built with today's battery
> technology because it doesn't drive on long trips. It heads home to
> recharge between trips when necessary.

At present, battery recharge times are likely to be a challenge.  Most
of your trips would fall in two peaks and most of the taxis could recharge
between the peaks, but I suspect there might be issues will all that
capital sitting around during charging.


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