Talk:Automated transport systems

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This 'discussion page' is currently used to hold notes for the development of this website (however it can still be used for discussion)
  • Trains
    • Light rail
    • [1][2] Trains could be a lot cheaper to build if high-tension cables are used instead of tracks
    • Gravity vacuum maglev (almost no energy required)
  • Human powered - International Human-Powered Vehicle Association is a dynamic organization of hobbyists designing and testing human powered land, air and water vehicles and even submarines. Some of the stuff there is pretty amazing: somebody flew 74 miles in a pedal-powered plane, somebody else broke 82mph in a recumbent bicycle. What's more, the community of people doing this are very much in favour of free and open design. Human powered vehicles will probably remain something people do mostly for fun and for short commutes, rather than as part of an economic infrastructure.


Financial cost of road traffic accidents estimated at over $120 billion in the US and over $193 billion in the Europe Union. (Found in slideshow from Delphi Automotive Integrated Safety Systems - need to find source).


Third generation photovoltaics in windows and paint will allow cars to produce their own energy on-the-move. The roof of a car can hold about 1m2 of solar cells, which might receive a thousand watts a day.

Driverless cars

Center for Automotive Research Stanford (CARS) doing a lot of work in this area, including cars that are driven by humans, but have smart systems so they "cannot crash"


  • The "Green Flight Challenge incentive" is a prize of $1.65m for electric planes that get 200 passenger-miles per gallon equivalent or better. This is about 4 times more efficient than a typical plane.
  • The Skylon spaceplane, as well as making speaceflight cheaper, aims to fly from anywhere to anywhere in less than 4 hours.
  • Personal aircraft. These will be needed or areas not served by road or rail. Persona helicopter travel has been the exclusive preserve of the mega-rich, but in an era of open-design + digital manufacturing, there is no reason why this should continue to be the case.
    • Flying cars 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg. VTOL would be best.
    • FlyNano is a 70kg personal flying machine with an airspeed of 140km/h. Can be all-electric. Being sold for just €27000, released later in 2011
    • Autonomous helicopters already exist like this mini-helicopter designed at MIT. Hummingbird Unmanned Rotorcraft is autonomous and has a much better fuel-efficiency than any other helicopter and also goes at a higher altitude, which would be better for solar power. Other unmanned helicopters include the RQ-7 Shadow. Bell Eagle Eye is an unmanned tilt-rotor vehicle.
  • Sub-orbital passenger craft
  • Free flight
  • Skycat - a hybrid airship/hovercraft