Team : imara
Section: Application Domains
New transportation systems
The problems related to the abusive use of the individual car in large cities led the populations and the political leaders to support the development of public transport. A request exists for a transport of people and goods which associates quality of service, environmental protection and access to the greatest number. Thus the tram and the light subways of VAL type recently introduced into several cities in France conquered the populations, in spite of high capital costs.
However, these means of mass transportation are only possible on lines on which there is a keen demand. As soon as one moves away from these ``lines of desire'' or when one deviates from the rush hours, these modes become expensive and offer can thus only be limited in space and time.
To give a more flexible offer, it is necessary to plan more individual modes which approach the car such as we know. However, if one wants to profit from the advantages of the individual car without undergoing the disadvantages of them, it is necessary to try to answer several criteria:
availability anywhere, anytime to all;
lower air and soils pollution as well as sound levels;
decrease the ground space occupied;
Electric or gas vehicles available in self-service as in the Praxitèle system bring a first response to these criteria. To be able to still better meet the needs, it is however necessary to re-examine the design of the vehicles on the following points:
ease empty car moves to better distribute them;
better use of information systems inboard and on ground;
better integrate this system in the global transportation system.
These systems are now operating (i.e. in La Rochelle). The challenge is to bring them to an industrial phase by transferring technologies to these still experimental projects.