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Is the Future of Transportation Dual-Mode Systems?
Where is the Transportation Technology of the Future?
While we live in a world where computing power doubles each year and the medical device world is turning what may have required surgery, at one time into simple in-office walk-in procedures. So what happened to the flying cars our grandparents imagined in the 50's? What happened to the steam-powered engineering imagined by those in the 1800's?
It's no secret that transportation technology progresses much slower than other areas such as biotech and information technology. While Google has proved that fully automated vehicles are feasible, they haven't done anything to address the roads they run on, so what other ways could transportation technology be improved?
The Davincii Institute recently covered the future of transportation with it's list of glowing highways, space elevators, frictionless vehicles and flying cars leading to the emerging space industry...by 2050.
Fortunately there are a few transportation concept groups out there looking to push the current limits of transportation with studies and development on improving the current highway systems by evaluating dual-mode transportation options. While each of these groups take a unique approach to the challenge, it'll be up to the people, and possibly the car manufacturers, about which road we take (pun intended).
What Transportation Concepts are Being Developed?
Proposed Transportation Systems Being Developed, in Alphabetical Order:
A dual mode transportation system called BiModal Glideway proposes a system that aims to solve traffic jams, pollution and minimize oil dependency. This future commuter and commercial transportation system allows specially designed automobiles, buses and trucks to enter a high speed rail lane, in addition to standard HOV and carpool lanes.
Business magnate, inventor and investor Elon Musk has conceptualized the Hyperloop, a high-speed transportation system incorporating reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on a cushion of air that is driven by a combination of linear induction motors and air compressors. If you wonder what any of that means, you're probably not alone.
The $6 billion project is currently focusing on attempting to connect the greater Los Angeles region to the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily running along the interstate 5 corridor that runs along central California.
Kwiklane Dual Mode System
Kwiklane, also known and spelled as Qwik Lane on the company's website, promotes themselves as a transportation system using compact automobiles equipped with special automatic controls to expedite commuter traffic congestion. This is done by having the vehicles hold a constant high-speed with close spacing along elevated steel guideways. These guideways would be built along the existing highway infrastructure and the system suggests a profit share with local communities.
This transportation system is designed as compact, electrically powered roadways for electric vehicles. No tracks are required for this supplement to existing roads and allow the vehicles to travel at much higher speeds, similar to if they were on a monorail system. The TEV project promotes itself as a highway concept that allows both conventional vehicles and new TEV vehicles to drive indefinitely without recharging with no special batteries or fuel cells required.
Google, BMW and Other Driverless Cars
Personally, as soon as these are available and hitting the road I want to have one in my driveway. However, while driverless car technology is here and will hopefully be publicly available within the next few years these vehicles don't solve the problem of congestion or high speed transportation. However, if they could be used in conjunction with one of the above dual mode transportation systems more of the current transportation issues would be solved. So why aren't they joining forces?
Are you interested in the future of transportation?
If so tell us about the group you think has the best concept being developed or what you would do differently in the comments below.