[FoRK] LA Traffic - solution?

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Aug 31 08:41:17 PDT 2012

On 8/31/12 2:49 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 12:48:16PM -0700, Stephen Williams wrote:
>> In NYC, even though you have super density, the subway is so slow that
>> except for more than a few miles, I'd generally rather walk. I would
>> certainly rather ride a bike if I had a way to store it.
> The ship seems to have sailed for US public transport. There is
> no longer the time nor money for that kind of thing, given that
> there's little usability until up a pretty high critical threshold
> in density and diversity.
> It's interesting to see what happens when gasoline and diesel gets
> rationed.

We all know what's going to happen:
Self-driving fleets of shared (public, private, and/or personal) electric vehicles, plus bicycles.

The question is whether it will be all autos or some mix of autos, segways, bikes, buses of various sizes, and something like a 
bus-train (train-like chain on long-haul highways rather than rails, perhaps able to break up / off at destinations).

High speed rail seems to be going forward in California.  If it is truly fast, it probably is worth it because of the dual 
massive population centers and mostly unpopulated land in between.  However, it doesn't make sense to create a full train 
network beyond that. Efficient automated shared / multiplexed electric self-driving vehicles seem perfect and reuse the roads 
that are fundamental.

Although only barely possible for even 2 seaters, the possibility of electric jets could improve air efficiency enough to make 
that even more attractive and impossible to compete with on the ground.  I.e., if you can fuel a plane for free (from the 
on-airport nuclear power plant, already paid for by running the attached city), then the total operating costs go down 
drastically.  Electric motors are far easier to maintain than any kind of combustion engine.


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