“BART’s revolutionary rapid transit car, designed to make interurban travel a pleasure, is now on display in Bay Area communities.” Image credit: Eric Fischer
What will the future of urban transportation look like? Will there be more hybrid cars, bicycles, and light-rail? Probably. But among the usual suspects believed to reduce congestion and pollution, there is a new candidate reminiscent of people mover convert belts proposed over a century ago!
The latest idea to move beyond the wasteful single passenger automobile is a PAT (people and thing) mover.Imagine moving in a self-operated, personalized car without the waste of, say, a single person commuting in an SUV that seats eight– that’s PAT.
As reported by Treehugger, the PAT system is founded on four principles
- In 2040, the car will be shared.
- In 2040, the car will be a lot lighter and smaller.
- In 2040, the car won’t run on fossil fuels.
- In 2040, the car will be completely autonomous
These criteria may sound a little futuristic, perhaps even unattainable by the year 2040, but if PAT does come to life, there could be considerable benefits, Treehugger notes:
The implications of shared, autonomous cars are huge, the single biggest one is that 90% of them become unnecessary, since we are no longer parking them; they just go away and serve someone else. Even if they travel more slowly, you will get to your destination more quickly, because they won’t have to stop at traffic lights; they will just flow through each other’s streams of traffic at intersections.