Friday, May 8, 2009
Singapore is spending $20 million to experiment with the use of electric vehicles. The idea is to find electric vehicle that can be more economical to use, compared to the conventional vehicle.
I wish to suggest a more bold approach. Can the electrical vehicle be used as the backbone of a new transportation system?
Over the past decade, several innovative transportation thinkers have proposed the Personal Automated Transport (PAT) based on the following concept:
a) Use of electric vehicles
b) Automated system, i.e. no need for people to control the vehicle
c) Running on a separate road system, preferably elevated
d) Take the passengers from point to point, unlike a light rail system that stops at every stop
e) The elevated road can use a small gauge, compared to a light rail system.
f) When the battery power runs down, it can be replaced with a fully charged battery.
The PAT system operates like a taxi, but does not have a taxi driver. It operates like a private car, but does not require to find a parking space. It can take the passengers to the destination and can be booked by another passenger.
I like to suggest that the PAT system can operate to provide local transportation in a town, to bring people to the MRT station or bus interchange.
I hope that a city like Singapore can develop this new concept and bring it to the world. This will be more efficient than a light rail system. It reduces the travelling time and brings greater comfort to commuters.
Tan Kin Lian