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  • WiselinePRT

    Frost’s comments continue to betray that
    he – and, likely, the Masdar leadership – never
    fully understood PRT’s role in Masdar land use
    and urban design. Putting motorized transit
    underground in the form of PRT meant all streets
    could be narrow, naturally shaded from the
    mideast sun, and pedestrian-only. Switching the
    plan to allow cars and buses of any kind, even
    CNG and EV, means streets will have to be widened
    – as Masdar has previously announced – sacrificing
    the shaded walkable streetscape in order to
    facilitate ‘point to point’ city driving (and all the
    urban problems driving entails, e.g. congestion,
    parking, accidents, speeding, etc.). A PRT network,
    with everywhere in Masdar within a shaded walk of
    a station, was the daring, innovative, green solution.
    Allowing cars in Masdar has to be considered a
    compromise to the conventional paradigm.

    Limiting PRT to the current pilot – also as previously
    announced – is also a poor business move. PRT is
    presumably a product (along with PV, wind, etc.)
    the UAE wants to market worldwide under the
    Masdar brand. While the small PRT network will
    demonstrate the hardware works, it won’t
    demonstrate it at urban scale. The few but vocal
    doubters will continue to say PRT is unproven, and
    will be able to point to Masdar to bolster their
    claim. By not innovating beyond that criticism,
    Masdar has limited the potential market for its PRT.

  • Miles Romney

    Ok, I’m actually fairly upset by this implementation. It is unnecessarily expensive and error-prone, and it’s high profile, which means that any problems it has (and there will be many) will reflect badly on the PRT tech, universally.

    * Trackless (which means more complex and error-prone navigation)
    * Pneumatic tires (which means much more expensive to maintain)
    * Individualised glass parking creches with automated sliding doors (which means loading is slower, stations are more expensive, larger and harder to maintain)
    * Automatic sliding doors on the cars themselves (again, expensive and error-prone)

    They need to stop thinking Disneyland, here, and start thinking about rugged, chaotic urban environments.

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  • stevenally

    “every second day something is better than what you had the day before. So when do you stop?”

    What you do is use good fundamental design techniques – in this case shade, thick earth walls, fans, fountains, trees. Make sure work places are a short walk from home. Make sure retail, restaurants are a short walk. Make sure parks and other amenities are a short walk. Have small one, two or 3 room schools in every neighbourhood. Have shaded, safe bicycle paths (not bike lanes on roads).Then transport will not be necessary in everyday life. And quality of life is improved. If each building is shaded and has say 6 ft thick earth walls, then air conditioning is not even necessary. Concentrate on reducing energy use while improving quality of life

    Technology is unreliable and expensive and dates fast. They are better off using either overhead cable powered or natural gas powered buses and trams than electric vehicles. Batteries are unproven and dirty. If no one has cars and the buildings are highly efficient, then using (non fracked) natural gas as a power source has a low environmental impact. With PV you still need batteries and the manufacturing process is a dirty little secret.

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