The Potential of Intelligent Transportation

This post from Wired's Autopia blog looks at the history and potential of an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS).

Smart communication tools and RFID chips have the potential to dramatically reshape the way people interact with city transportation systems.

"This future of transportation will be based around smart phones, mobile navigation systems and other common gadgets and will drastically change how we navigate and interact with cities.

The idea of ITS, at its most basic, is to connect every vehicle in a network of transportation users that instantly tracks and shares information. Ideally, everyone will be able to quickly determine where the accidents and tie-ups are and what routes can be taken to avoid them. What this means for the average commuter is quicker drive times by the way of more efficient traffic patterns and planned out routes created for you in real time.

Of course, transportation planners have been promising us this for the better part of two decades."

Full Story: Glimpse the Wireless Future of Transportation



Intelligent transportation is based on walkable urbanism

The Buck-Rogers-style flying/computer-run car dream is getting staler and staler as the decades go by. I remember this kind of prognostication from the 1960's. It was supposed to be ready by the year 2000.

The whole focus of intelligence in transportation design should be on human mobility--walking, bicycling, and accessing home, work, and play in a manner that is humane and based on proven patterns of human interaction--and records of those go back several thousand years. The emphasis should not be on high-tech pods that are whipped around by computers like some carnival ride.

Build cities so that the majority of people can choose to be carfree. Do this by encouraging walkable urban areas that are connected with light rail and bus service. High-speed rail connects longer distances. People can walk, bicycle, and live in the places that meet their needs and not live in service to types of transit that have a proven track record of destroying cities.

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