re: [thread], pol 

@freakazoid
@bhtooefr @dazinism
Mass transit will be cheaper, which will play into the thinking of many daily commuters. But mass transit also needs to be competitive. Living in France (carless in fact) I can tell you that the SNCF behaves just like any other monopoly. So I'm partial to vans, buses, and trains indeed, but there needs to be choice.

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re: [thread], pol 

@freakazoid @bhtooefr @dazinism
Also if one of these smart companies can figure out how to remove all of the friction of moving from a car to a bus or train with shopping bags and 3 kids, they can offer a "car ride" on train infrastructure and pocket the difference...

re: [thread], pol 

@cjd @dazinism @bhtooefr This seems to describe Personal Rapid Transit pretty closely. And PRT works even without autonomous cars, though it doesn't solve the issues associating with owning cars, parking, etc. With autonomous cars, the main advantage the PRT "tracks" provide is allowing for much smaller batteries and less charging infrastructure and providing a dedicated lane for AVs "automatically".

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re: [thread], pol 

@bhtooefr @dazinism @cjd Of course, you can do all of these things with a regular paved road by embedding inductive charging coils in them and only allowing AVs. The only real difference between such infrastructure and PRT is that you'd be using a software "linkage" among vehicles and a wireless power link to the road rather than physical linkages between cars and a physical "track" to provide power and guidance. You'd still use tires for traction because they're quiet.

@clacke @cjd @freakazoid @dazinism PRT == automated guideway transit with small vehicles. The vehicles are summoned at stations, the guideways are closed to everything but those small vehicles. There’s been fully-automated PRT systems in service since the 1970s at least. Higher infrastructure cost to deploy, but it can be done with technology that demonstrably 100% works today.

“Autonomous vehicles” means autonomous cars on the roads, a much much much harder problem to solve, but using existing infrastructure.

@bhtooefr @cjd @freakazoid @dazinism Right, PRT implies rails or something close to rails. Is there any point to non-autonomous PRT today then?

@clacke @cjd @freakazoid @dazinism The “PRT vs. AV” debate being posed in this thread isn’t between a hypothetical “non-autonomous PRT” and autonomous PRT, it’s between autonomous PRT and autonomous cars on roads.

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