Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Automated controls in PRT

The PRT system requires the pod to move automatically, after the user keys in the destination. The challenge is to design the navigation and control system to ensure that the safety of the pods and the entire system.

There are many approaches to the design of the system. Some people are ambitious and want to have a sophisticated system - which is costly and may not be achievable.

I can think of a simple system that can operate efficient and is practical to implement. It comprises of two components:

1. The vehicle control system. This will ensure that the passengers are seated and secured safely. It checks that the pod moves at a safe speed and is able to slow down in tandem with the vehicle in front or if there is an obstacle. It also receives instruction from the central control system on the route to take.

2. The central system. This system is aware of all the pods in the network and will instruct each pod on the optimal route, after considering the traffic in the entire system. This will reduce congestion and ensures the smooth flow of traffic.

By adopting the dual approach, it will be possible to design a workable system that ensures a high standard of safety and efficiency.

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