Purpose and Scope of the Innovative Transportation Technologies Website

The purpose of this website is to provide information about unconventional (therefore innovative) transportation technologies. Information about conventional transportation technologies is already quite abundant but only a few people know about the technologies included at this website. Some of these technologies are operational, some are under development and some are still conceptual. It is intended to be an information resource for graduate students in the Transportation Engineering and Urban Planning programs at the University of Washington, in Seattle, and for other interested persons around the world.

Major attention is given to NON-AUTO technologies that are suitable for meeting Passenger and Freight mobility needs within major metropolitan areas (i.e. intraurban travel). This is where the most acute problems of accidents, congestion and air pollution exist today. In all of the world’s major cities, these problems are severe and growing worse rapidly.

All of the technologies included share some important attributes. As a group, the passenger systems are sometimes referred to as Automated People Movers (APM’s). All are electrically propelled, all are either fully- or partially-automated using some form of computerized control and nearly all utilize some type of exclusive and elevated guideway. They all have the potential to be financed, built and operated by either public agencies or private companies or through some type of public-private partnership. Freight or goods movement systems are referred to as Automated Freight Systems (AFS's)

The materials on passenger systems provided at this site have been grouped into three broad categories. The first includes technologies in which the vehicle is supported from below by an elevated guideway. The second includes systems in which the vehicle is suspended from an elevated guideway. The third category includes a variety of related topics regarding the history, design, planning, deployment, information resources and overall assessment of the technologies included.

Infomation about autonomous vehicles designed for intra-urban applications is also included, particularly the Mobility-on-Demand project at the MIT media lab as well as links to some some lively blogs on various relevant topics and issues.

This site should be of interest to people studying or working in a wide variety of fields such as urban planning, environmental protection/enhancement, real estate development, intermodal passenger and freight transportation planning, intelligent transportation systems planning, transit systems design and planning, architecture,  auto-free cities and sustainable transportation advocates. These transportation systems offer the potential for reducing auto-dependence and urban congestion over time which is a goal of great importance to the achievement of more sustainable cities and economies - worldwide. They also offer a way to help deal with the global climate change problem due to their energy efficiency attributes.

Almost all of the information included has been provided by the inventors, vendors or operators of these technologies - or from the published literature. No guarantees of its accuracy or validity are provided. Inclusion on these pages should not be interpreted as an endorsement of a particular technology. Opinions are presented in two debate pages, one on Personal Rapid Transit, the other on Dualmode concepts.

No evaluative remarks or critiques are included as there is ample opportunity to discuss the attributes of these technologies on the two Debate pages (PRT and Dualmode) included at the site. A google group called Transport-Innovators exists for people who wish to discuss the many technical and non-technical issues that confront the development and deployment of innovative systems. It is open to all and subscriber information is available at advancedtransit.org - the website of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA).

Contact information has been provided so that visitors can obtain more detailed information directly from the inventors/vendors/operators of these systems. This website is being continually enhanced, extended and updated. Ideas for improving it should be sent to Jerry Schneider: e-mail  jbsATpeakDOTorg

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Last modified: April 11, 2014