Personalized mass transit?
Transportation really hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years – we still have trains and cars. You still have to wait for trains longer than you want to and they don’t go exactly where you want them to, when you want them to. Cars are increasingly inefficient as traffic congestion grows, among the myriad other problems they cause.
Personalized Rapid Transit (pictured) may be the next big thing in mobility, though perhaps not for another fifty years. Check out the video – it’s fun to watch, but the music needs to go, seriously. The vehicles are referred to as taxis since you don’t have to wait – the cars are waiting for you, thereby passing the all important mass transit 5-minute rule. You just jump in, tell it where to go, and off it zips. Because they’re either above ground or below ground (ideal) there’s no traffic congestion, and best of all it makes ground-level streets safer and potentially much more pedestrian-oriented.
Shame on CoolTown Studios for promoting this non-solution to urban transportation problems.
Thankfully, others have detailed the problems with PRT at great length.
Choose from scholarly or sarcastic critiques:
You’re right – it’s impractical for today’s inflexible infrastructure, but the piece is more of a whimsical look into how mass customization is transforming technology and how sacred cows (light rail, highways, both often inefficient) can be transcended. It’s no secret that what made streetcars work is that the waiting time seldom broke the five-minute rule – as close to personalized mass transit as we’ve seen yet.