10 Future Public Transportation Vehicles (Video)

Depending on your previous experiences with public transportation, you may think it’s the best way to travel or you it may be a common feature in your nightmares. Regardless of how you currently feel, these future modes of transportation will definitely motivate you to give up driving to work.

10. Driverless pods

Driverless pods have been featured in countless sci-fi movies, and, aside from flying cars, are what most of us think of when we picture the transportation of the future.

These Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) vehicles have been programmed so that passengers would never have to wait for more than 12 seconds and their routes are customized in order to prevent congestion or the need for traffic lights.

Like many of the other modes of transportation on this list, PRTs are much greener than what we’re using now. They generate zero local emissions and being 70 percent more energy efficient than cars and 50 percent more than traditional buses.

For now, PRTs wouldn’t have the capacity to replace with traditional methods of public transit in large cities, but could act as a complement to thing out the load they face everyday.

9. Road Train

For those who live in areas without much in the way of public transportation, Road Trains offer the perfect solution.

A Road Train links cars that are going the same direction and roughly the same distance on a highway through their GPS units. This group is then led by a bus or truck with an experienced driver who is used to driving that specific route. Once a car is tied in to the road train, it will be automatically controlled and tethered to the actions of the lead car, meaning drivers can do whatever they want on their commute.

In addition, the company in charge of the project has calculated that by making driving commutes more efficient through the use of Road Trains people will save around 20 percent on fuel a year. This system would also greatly increase road capacity and reduce accidents, as distracted or drowsy drivers won’t be controlling their cars.

8. Tubular Rail

In this redesigned locomotive, a single rigid train travels through elevated support rings, negating the need for traditional train tracks.

The train would have guidance rails and would be in keep contact with three of the elevated rings at all times, ensuring it has enough support and power to continue running.

The developers hope that the tubular train would be able to act as both high-speed rail and commuter or light rail systems. Their more aerodynamic model can reach speeds of 150 miles per hour for trips between 100 and 600 miles long, while the model designed for commuters would be able to reach speeds of around 90 miles per hour.

7. Straddling Bus

You’re diving down the highway on your morning commute and all of a sudden a huge shadow passes over your car. What looks like a train car pulls ahead of you and continues on its way. You’ve just had an encounter with the straddling bus, the catamaran of the road.

The straddling bus was designed to let buses and cars sharethe road without the congestion so many of us are forced to sit through each day.  The bus is tall enough that it would be able to easily pass over cars, but still make it under overpasses, all while carry up to 1,200 people at a time.

This bus also does its part to cut down on pollution that gas run buses create. It runs on electricity and solar power, and could save up to 860 ton of fuel a year.

6. Non-Stop MTR System (The Train That Never Stops)

The developer of the Non-Stop MTR system believes that the greatest inefficiencies when it comes to train travel is the fact that trains have to stop to pick people up.

The ‘train that never stops’ has pods on the roof that passengers can enter or exit. At each stop, the pod with the people disembarking is left at the station, while the pod on the platform filled with waiting passengers is picked up, all without the train having to stop.

These non-stop trains would save time, as those minutes spent waiting at each station have a habit of adding up to hours at the end of the day and they would save energy. The constant acceleration and deceleration that trains go through each time they stop at a station requires a huge amount of power.

5. Skytran

Credit: Unimodal Systems

The Skytran is a system of pods that enable users to travel around a city while using lessenergy it  takes to run two hair dryers. It works a lot like the subway, but the Skytran travels above the streets and doesn’t require you to share a car with the guy ranting about the end of the world.

Each pods seat two people, and is suspended and propelled forward by a maglev system. The tracks could be arranged throughout a city in a grid pattern with departure and exit portals placed every few city blocks.

The best part of the whole thing is that the pod you are in travels to your exact destination. Users program where they want to go into the pod when they get in, and it takes the fastest route to get there.

4. Biway Electrical Bus

Credit: Aleshina Ekaterina and Kamyshev Vitaly via Michelin Design Challenge

The Biway is a bus with the ability to turn into a train. These electrically run buses can link to other Biway buses and form a train.

Through the use of ‘fiber freeways’ – which are essentially elevated train tracks – linked up byways would be able to travel as an automated train. While the bus is connected to the fiber freeway, it would be able to recharge its battery.  Another plus is the ability for passengers to move between buses when they are connected, possibly making stops for bus transfers unnecessary.

The hope is that these buses would eventually replace gas powered public buses, offering a green solution to the buses we use today and creating a much more efficient system.

3. City Ziplines

Who hasn’t enjoyed the thrill of a quick trip along a zip line once or twice in their lifetime? One designer apparently enjoyed it so much that he decided it would be the perfect mode of public transportation.

Kolelino, as the system is known, requires riders to strap themselves in to a battery-pack equipped harness, which the then slung from a light engine. The battery powers the engine, which moves along the cables to stop at various stations in and around a city.

Developers even believe that the system could be used by commuters traveling within a city, and those traveling to a cities outskirts. Setting up Kolelino would take a bit of heavy machinery, but once again would use a lot less energy and material than the cars, trains or buses we use today.

2. Velo-city

Credit: Shawn Carpenter via Flickr

Velo-city was proposed as a high speed, all season, pollution free, ultra-quite transit system that uses an infrastructure of elevated cycle tracks, to create a network across a city.  The elevated track would be enclosed to make their use a possibility regardless of the season, and with entrances and exits modeled after subway systems, it would be easy to get on and off.

It was originally proposed for Toronto though it was never build due to lack of funding and support.  As bicycle lanes become a bigger issue and more people are riding to work, Velo-City may soon get the second chance it needs.

1. Superbus

Shaped like a 50-foot long fish and featuring eight doors per side, as far as descriptions go, the Superbus’ sounds pretty ridiculous, but this method of transportation puts the emphasis on catering to its riders.

The Superbus, will operate from a central routing optimization system. Its routes will be entirely customizable based on the preferred starting points and destinations of the passengers. Like many other modes of transportation on this list, the fact that changeovers would no longer be necessary could save both time and money.

TuDelft, the company that created the bus hopes that one day specialized express routes would be developed for the Superbus, making travel even more efficient.

Source: Innovation News Daily