Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Really Safe Design

The June, 2008 edition of Design News Magazine has as its cover story an article called "The Biggest Thing in Safety." In this interesting article, the author Charles J. Murray, senior technical electronics editor of the magazine, discusses the development of dedicated short range communication (DSRC) devices that allow vehicles to communicate with each other. Mr. Murray feels these devices when implemented on a broad scale "..will save more lives than seat belts, more than air bags and more than electronic stability control". They will create truly intelligent vehicles that can tell each other when road conditions are bad, when there are accidents, when there are unexpected obstacles, and based on this feedback, cars themselves will react, thereby reducing accidents. The proponents of this technology say that between 60 and 90 percent of road fatalities can be prevented.

We at Aeromobile Inc. are all for reducing accidents and fatalities, and agree that more intelligent automobiles can make the roads safer. There are a number of approaches to intelligent highways and intelligent cars that no doubt will improve safety and even help congestion in certain ways. But, we don't think that the many disadvantages of cars are mitigated enough by making them more intelligent. There is still the issue of bad weather, with ice, snow and heavy rain that will constrain how much safety can be improved. Cars have poor traction under a number of weather conditions. And, even cars driven more efficiently with the help of intelligent devices will still have to travel on the ground level, which is also where pedestrians and animals travel as well, and that "conflict of interest" will still continue.

And, even intelligent cars will need expensive paved roads, and acres of parking lots, and congestion will still be a big issue, since only so much throughput can occur on one planar surface. Even with more built in smarts, cars, trucks and roads are not the ideal transportation system. We still maintain that our Aeroduct System of ground transportation incorporates the intelligence that designers hope to incorporate in cars, and by not needing paved roads and parking lots, is a lot more environmentally appropriate. It's also much less expensive to build and operate, and it can be expanded considerably more easily. We invite anyone interested in making ground transportation truly safe and truly better in all respects to talk to us about our Aeroduct System.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dr. Bertelsen,

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I would appreciate your response: