21st Century TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS
Abulu continues his 'Imagine That' series: No.2
Part two of the IMAGINE THAT series.
Realistic scientific projections of the future, it proposes a radical
solution to the imminent collapse of world transportation.
PERSONAL TRANSPORTATION FOR THE FUTURE
for the 21st Century
Bill Gates has a radical new idea...
On 29th June 2002,
the biggest player in the transport industry, the 3-PAK Corporation,
made a bold presentation at an extraordinary meeting of the European
Union (EU); convened to find a solution to the envisaged transport problems
in the 21st century; about its proposed mammoth project aimed at revolutionising
and saving the imminent collapse of the transport industry.
Putting his wealth of experience in transforming ingenious technical
ideas into business successes, the renowned William Henry Gates, chairman
of 3-PAK Corporation, lays his cards on the table in his
bold attempt to convince all that this is the ARRIVAL OF FUTURE DEPARTURES. Called
the Personalised Online Patroller Connectible Orbital Navigator
(POP-CON), Gates presents a fully automatic air taxi that interconnects
with any of several giant orbital airships for long distance travel.
Remotely accessed, this user-friendly transport system is universally
controlled by a super computer server.
With Hydrogen fuel sourced from Iceland, where natural geo-thermal energy
reduces the cost of producing this clean fuel, his corporation
hopes to produce cheap, safe, convenient, fast and personalised transport
service literarily at the tip of your fingers.
3-PAKs efforts seem to be the answer to the demands of a fast
developing and mobile 21st century world. Huge markets presented in
the emerging economies of Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe make this
technology a viable option for the future. The address of Mr William
Henry Gates, chairman 3-PAK corporation and former CEO of software giant
Microsoft Corporation, titled The Arrival of Future Departures,
read to the European Council at an extraordinary meeting on 29th June
2002 in Luxembourg:
I am here today to brief you on our proposal for a final solution to the
threatened collapse of world transportation. With the historic changes
that have seen all of Europes' air transportation consolidatde into one
carrier, and America down to two major carrieras, as well as the collapse
of many regional airlines throughout the world, a solution to world transportaiton
is clearly esential.The 3-PAK corporation has invested the equivalent
of over 430 Million Euros within the last three years in research and
prototype designs of various alternatives to present modes of transportation.
I now have the privilege and pleasure to announce to this gathering
the future of transportation in the 21st century.
Combining the availability of a personal car, the efficiency and luxury
of an aircraft and eliminating the responsibility of maintenance and security
and burden of looking for parking space. I present to you the PERSONALISED
ONLINE PATROLER CONNECTIBLE ORBITAL NAVIGATOR (POP-CON).
Coined to eliminate the phobia often associated with every new technology,
research has shown that the mere mention of the POP-CON suggests a feeling
associated with the popcorn eaten around the world in places of recreation
and relaxation. POP-CON is an intermodal individual cum mass transit
system consisting of individual POP smart-cars remotely called
by a transponder built-in as a single key activated from any of the new
triple face Zelda 3 UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication Service)
Equipped with Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities, POP cars
are able to pick passengers virtually from any location. They can travel
at high speeds and at close intervals, avoiding collision with the aid
of on-board sensors. Tolls, permits and visas are obtained via the Internet.
While on board these cars, ambient conditions and features within can
be adjusted to suit individual needs. A Global Positioning System (GPS)
consisting of 96 satellites and ground sub-stations provide precise, three-dimensional
position, 24 hours a day all over the world regardless of weather conditions.
This tracking system locates any of these air borne POP cars nearest to
a call and directs it accurately to the caller within 2 to 7.5 minutes. With
several thousands operating within a definite cell of 500 km Square, a
POP car flies into the connectible port of huge CON cruise airships to
drop passengers travelling beyond their 500 km range. When within 500km
of final destination, the commuter activates the POP call button again
for an on-board pick-up for the final approach. Switching between CONs
will be a regular feature. Both the POP and the CON are fly-by-wire
(fully automatic) operated. A super computer server monitors all operations
and state of POP cars and CON cruisers thereby ensuring the highest safety
standards. It will be like the existing drive-on, drive-off trains for
automobiles, currently running between the British and French coasts.
The CON is a single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) aircraft capable of take-off
and landing on conventional runways and can also be flown into an orbital
flight path. They also use the spacecraft technology of automatic attitude-stabilisation
and control system to compensate for minor disturbances caused by other
It is estimated that this user-friendly mode of transportation will capture
over 65 per cent of world commuters in the first fifteen years of take-off
and in 25 years nearly all other forms of public transportation will be
obsolete. With the entire project costing the equivalent of over
867 billion Euros, the initial cost of this service is put at around 4
Euros per km. However the cost is expected to drop significantly when
fully operational. These huge capital funds will be raised from capital
markets around the world. In translating this ingenious technical
vision into reality, I enjoin you, the shapers of the world, to support
this noble project that solves the nagging problem of gridlock in our
transport system and guarantees mobility and the sustainability
of 21st century travel.
Important questions that may be asked concerning the political implications,
effect on existing transport industries and professions, social responses,
environment and other issues will be now addressed.
Travel time is the most important service quality attribute in transportation.
It is vital in emergency and rescue work. Instant availability of vehicles,
speed, traffic obstruction, intermittent stops are several factors that
determine travel time. Time spent at boarding stations greatly add to
travel time. The POP-CON cuts travel time to the barest minimum. With
a maximum call time of 2 to 7.5 minutes travel time is cut to the barest
Operational cost of the POP-CON is low due to the number of vehicles run
by the same control and maintenance system. Several hundreds of thousands
of POP cars and a few thousands of CON cruisers share these costs thereby
transforming only a meagre 4 Euros per km to the commuters. Onboard commercials
and services will also help to subsidise the user cost in future.
Worlds resources of mineral fuels and existing radioactive materials
presently used in nuclear power stations will be probably exhausted in
a few decades. Hydrogen gas derived from seawater; a virtually limitless
resource, pollution-free and fully recycle-able; was therefore adopted
as fuel for the POP-CON. Several Hydrogen production plants in Iceland
produce cheap Hydrogen using natural geo-thermal energy. This Northern
country presently generates over 90 per cent of its electricity from these
natural sources; even so only one twentieth of these natural resources
are exploited. Environmentalists are naturally in support of this new
Earth saving mode of transport. Already several of the worlds biggest
oil exploration and production companies such as the Shell Group have
diversified into alternative energy production, with Hydrogen gas production
looking very promising.
Urban drift and social mobility
With the spread of capitalism and industrialisation, the flow of migrant
workers has accelerated dramatically across and between all parts of the
world. In many developed countries, some jobs are unpopular or considered
beneath the local population, who sometimes price themselves
beyond the labour market or simply refuse the so-called- 3-D (dangerous,
difficult, dirty) jobs. This stimulates the flow of migrant labour from
rural to urban areas. These and other migrant workers from poorer countries
also require a cheap and efficient mode of transportation to take them
to and from work thereby preserving links to their relatives. The POP-CON
will surely help to balance out global supply and demand of labour.
The hovering capability of the POP cars is an ideal feature for tourists
on a safari or other nature-viewing tours. With these airborne taxis,
difficult terrains can be easily reached. With over 600 million arrivals,
annual worldwide earnings from international tourism will exceed the equivalent
of 500 Billion Euros.
Existing transport industries that remain relevant:
It is goods news all the way for existing transport manufacturers. The
days of stop-and-go pattern of employment characteristic of aerospace
industry will be over. POP-CON will bring about standardisation thereby
eliminating those frequent components and aircraft design changes caused
by intra-industry competition.
Since the POP-CON has very similar components as conventional aircrafts,
manufacturing companies such as Boeing-McDonnell Douglas and Airbus Industrie
will receive the blueprints to manufacture these crafts. All new crafts
will be logged-on to the global sever controlled by the 3-PAK corporation.
Marketing consortiums such as the Aero International Regional will be
a major dealer in the POP and CON crafts. Every player in the industry
will either be absorbed into a parent company or function as a specialised
component manufacturer or service provider. More jobs will therefore be
saved than lost.
Global anti-trust policy and free trade well balanced
Trusts and cartels using monopolistic business practices to make unfair
profits will find it difficult to thrive since all willing specialised
companies will be encouraged to independently produce or run these POP
cabbies and support services just as anyone is free to develop new search
engines used to surf the Internet.
Also as with the Internet, anyone can offer specialised services using
rented equipment from the bigger companies; whatever way you look at it,
everyone is a winner. This will create an open economy thereby encouraging
competition and a free market. The huge capital and investment thus generated
from this global economy will then be ploughed back to expand the industry
and therefore reduce the user cost of the POP-CON.
This new transport system will break regional barriers such as the European
Union (EU), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Asia-Pacific
Economic Co-operation (APEC) and the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) thereby promoting the true concept of globalisation. All
With all questions answered and all answers unquestionable, the only unanswered
question is, why didnt we think of this 50 years ago?
While POP-CON will not fulfil those science fiction teleport travels,
or that trip to Mars, it will prove that the sky is still the limit.
© Andrew Abulu 2001
IMAGINE THAT from Andrew
Abulu: Part One
COMING SOON from
Which tries to unravel the mystery of who we are,
where we come from, the things we believe and those we
take for granted.
2."FACT OR FICTION"
This is a frightening revelation of fact-like fiction
and fiction-like fact of things you can hardly
3."THE FUTURE OF THE FUTURE"
Science and religion agree in this article on whats
going to happen to the universe and us in our next
stage of evolution and obliteration.
ANDREW IYERE ABULU
(CIVIL ENGINEER. INVENTOR. AUTHOR)
PLOT 1703, F-1 CLOSE, 7th AVENUE, FESTAC TOWN
P.O. BOX 5636, MARINA, LAGOS, 101001
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