Will moving traffic underground make our lives cleaner, healthier and safer?
On the second of December PLP Architecture held a conference at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) to unveil their CARTUBE concept.
CARTUBE takes the idea of blending our current transport preference, the car, with an underground mass transport system to make a single, seamless underground road system.
Automated cars would enter a city through a tunnels that connect with the motorway network. Networks of tunnels circulating the city and would channel the cars, all controlled via a dynamic platoon system allowing cars to move within milliseconds of one another. Cars would travel in a continuous flow at a steady speed without ever slowing down, providing far greater capacity than conventional public transport.
CARTUBE also permits direct travel without interchanging replacing the stop-start model of current transportation with a fluid, integrated network. According to PLP’s research, CARTUBE would typically double transport capacity for the same investment as a conventional mass transport and reduce travel time by 75%.
Users would book a CARTUBE trip through smartphones using either their own cars or available public cars. The CARTUBE app will calculate a fare and an estimated arrival time based on an optimal route through the network. The whole journey will be point-to-point, without any transfers or stops.
Lars Hesselgren, Director of Research at PLP, stated, “CARTUBE is a direct response to mass transit and traffic congestion in the world’s largest cities. Moving high-speed car traffic below ground will revolutionise our concept of the city, allowing our urban spaces to be designed not for cars, but for people. CARTUBE has the potential to be the next best thing to teleportation and will revolutionise exiting cities and allow for unprecedented urban forms.”
PLP has proposed CARTUBE systems for both London and Beijing.
Taking cars away from our cities would have many benefits, both for the environment and the people who live in cities, but with big cities like Paris making their public transport free will people who live in cities need or want to own a car?