Sunday, November 9, 2008


It’s been a while since my last post, as I have been very busy. I have, however, given considerable thought to my little project here. I have decided that hanging the PRT vehicles is really the way to go, unless switching is more of a problem than I think.A close look at the PRT 2000 drawing (posted earlier) shows a elegantly simple means of switching tracks. By not having any moving parts on the track itself, such as is the case with ordinary railroad trains, the whole scheme of things is greatly simplified. As I have stated earlier, the track is everything, since the network is everything. I have prepared a list of reasons why hanging is better than on top of, or straddling a track, but it’s a little long. I’ll try to abbreviate it in a later post. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s one that shows just how simple and versatile hanging PRT is. Note that the station pictured here could be in a parking lot or on any city street. It’s better to have more stations that are cheaper, rather than a few expensive ones. Again, the network is everything.


timote said...

So why do pods have to hang? I'd love to see your list.

The counter-arguments to the design proposed I can think of off the top of my head:

* ADA - there HAS to be a level boarding with a rock-solid, locked-in-place pod, this isn't negotiable in the modern world.
* Boarding safety - if people can be hit by anything automated, that is a recipe for lawsuits.

The image shown would *appear* to fail those criteria, although there is insufficient detail to be sure.

I completely agree with you regarding price, though. For PRT to supplant the ubiquitous automobile, you have to have the ability to have lots and lots and lots of stations - pretty much within a block of anywhere you want to go from/to. Otherwise, you're going to walk out your door in suburbia and get in your car cause it's so dang convenient. Your design as depicted succeeds wonderfully on this front - a very simple track and a wonderfully cheap (almost zero additional cost) "station". However, hitting somebody with a pod is a deal-killer, there will have to be additional infrastructure at the station to be feasible...

timote said...

Oh, and speaking of zero cost stations. How do you propose calling for a car with no visible infrastructure? Cell phone or the like?

akauppi said...

About calling for the 'car', there's certainly some kind of console in the station picture. But in my understanding having pods waiting (instead of the passanger waiting) is one of the essentials. Though then one requires to have one kind of pods only, and Dan likes to have multiple models.

It will be interesting to see, which will finally proceed. This is similar as with the beginning of auto era - many concepts, some of which will prevail and others be forgotten.

My plan is "flat" (not very high) track-is-below circular pods, on an extremely light and CHEAP track. I still need to see the said-to-be-long list of why track above is better.

In my opinion track above:
- uses up more metal
- has potentially wearing pieces "inside" the track, which might be hard to detect if they ... (need to go now)