[FoRK] LA Traffic - solution?

Kent Spaulding kent at iotabits.com
Thu Aug 30 14:24:20 PDT 2012

Sounds like a long-ish term business plan (I assume) for car2go - make those Smart cars actually smart and autonomous.

On Aug 30, 2012, at 1:43 PM, Gordon Mohr wrote:

> I can recycle my own old bits on this topic if they're still relevant, right?
> I still think the following, as I wrote to FoRK over 10 years ago, is the mass-transit-obsoleting solution due to arrive in urban areas soon, helped along by Uber/Lyft/Side.cr/GoogleAutomatautos/etc.
> First, a vague sketch from August 2000 in my comment about proposed light-rail in Austin <http://www.xent.com/FoRK-archive/aug00/0627.html>:
> ###
> It's a disgrace that so many Austin tech bigwigs are putting
> their names and money behind light-rail.
> If it passes, we'll spend a billion dollars to tear up existing
> high-traffic corridors and lay down fixed routes on which, some
> time in 2008, glorified buses-on-tracks will run. It's the ultimate
> low-tech, inflexible, high-dollar solution -- a circuit-switched
> transportation megaproject.
> We should instead be using cheap computing and communication
> technology to get maximum efficient use out of the roads --
> packet-based transportation markets.
> Eliminate trips with telecommuting and ecommerce; eliminate
> rush-hours with congestion pricing. Instead of rails, lay down
> smart roads with privileged access for dynamically-routed and
> creatively-billed buses, shuttles, and smart cars. Have people
> enter their desired destination on location-aware handheld
> devices -- and then let multiple bus/van/taxi services bid for
> their ride, offering shared routes and transit-time guarantees
> based on real-time demand and traffic information.
> The same local VC types funding the pro-rail campaign will also
> fund, over the next few years, startups which make rail obsolete
> before construction completes.
> ###
> And then in November 2001 a bit more detail about the "dynamically-routed and creatively-billed buses, shuttles, and cmart cars" in this message <http://www.xent.com/pipermail/fork/2001-November/006213.html>:
> ###
> <yodelling refers-to="conan o'brien bit">
> In the year 2000...
> </yodelling>
> Everyone will get, essentially for free, a handheld
> communicator with GPS, voice, browsing, and instant-
> messaging.
> When you want to get someplace outside of walking
> distance, you will enter your desired destination on
> the device.
> Within a few seconds, a number of options will be
> presented to you, with prices and guaranteed arrival
> times. For example:
>    (walk two blocks to catch)
>    pickup in now+5 minutes
>    one transfer
>    destination arrival in now+23 minutes
>    $1.50 [click here to purchase]
>    (pickup at your exact location)
>    pickup in now+6 minutes
>    one extra stop to drop off other passenger
>    destination arrival in now+17 minutes
>    $3.00 [click here to purchase]
>    (pickup at your exact location)
>    pickup in now+7 minutes
>    destination arrival in now+12 minutes
>    direct nonstop
>    $6.00 [click here to purchase]
> You will have about 30 seconds to choose, or
> else the options will refresh. By the time you choose,
> Vince's Vanagon may have already been diverted a
> block preemptively in expectation of your choice.
> If you miss your contractual pickup, you still pay.
> If the ride misses its contractual delivery time,
> your ride is free.
> Every motor vehicle on city streets' position will
> be tracked to the meter. Every vehicle will pay
> a usage fee proportionate to its use of the roadways
> and the extrernalities of delay it imposes on other
> vehicles.
> There will be no traffic jams: the slightest hint of
> one will cause road-prices to rise until it disappears.
> There will only be accidents when the open-source
> driving-code makes rare grievous errors.
> It's packet-switched market-priced mass-customized
> transit. I think we'll see its beginnings in urban
> areas in a few years -- with certain zones and roadways
> limited to such advanced-routed vehicles. It may
> become the only way to travel around those same areas
> in 15 years.
> ###
> Of course now you'd have to expect that in addition to YELLOW CAB, VINCE'S VANAGON, and CITY BUS you'd also have UBER, LYFT, and GOOGLE AUTO-AUTO as dynamically-listed options. And while it won't likely be mandatory in any central cities by my original 2016 date... it might by 2022.
> - Gordon
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