We re-invent the train



This is Joseph.

I was reading eschaton who posted this tweet:




Ok, this is pretty bad. Eschaton went down the European pathway (better mixed use) and how this would completely not be compatible with that. It is also worth noting that it would make infrastructure a lot more expensive, as putting up all of these features to protect the road. 

But what else has a dangerous track but can self drive inside of a crowded city? 

Automatic train operation has been in use in Montreal since 1977 (that is not a typo). Closed track self-driving trucks are in exactly the same category, with a slightly harder learning environment but still a completely controlled one. Light rail can definitely be added to city infrastructure and be a success even post-covid (see Seattle) and there is not a reason that trains cars could not be single occupancy (well, there are efficiency reasons). But this highlights two things:
  1. Closed courses are expensive, especially inside cities
  2. Closed courses require new land to become available (tunnels?) or the restriction/removal of the current roads
The real advantage of self-driving cars would be the ability to be integrated into the complex urban transit environment in a safe way. Instead we have a limited use car that also has storage problems or a closed course taxi, which is probably less cost effective than a light rail and requires a second taxi or bus to solve the last mile problem. Because it seems deeply unlikely that modern (Read more...)