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9447Navigating future for road charges (article on Galileo) + RAIL!

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  • Todd Edelman
    Dec 29, 2005
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      To Carfree Cities list and friends:

      From BBC:

      Navigating future for road charges

      This week, the first test satellite in Europe's 3.4bn-euro (£2.3bn; $4bn) Galileo satellite-navigation system blasted off on a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
      Another excerpt: "In Brussels, we have the same transport situation as we have in London. In Germany, it is the same situation," lamented Mr Marchlewski. "Galileo will not reduce congestion directly, but it can be used for a more intelligent distribution of vehicles.
      Full article at:
      <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4552132.stm

      ---

      Libertarians dont like the "control" part of this but the concept of being anonymous while driving a car around and around and around I think contradicts the idea that "driving is a privelege, not a right". It is chaos.

      This article DOESNT mention that Galileo will also give the railways some huge benefits. Please see: <http://ertms.uic.asso.fr/research.html>

      Trains are big, noisy (but individually getting quieter), and use energy (but far less than other forms of motorised transport), and occasionally kill people at level crossings, rarely kill people riding in them (even in India, compared to the roads) but one thing I like best (in part as a pedestrian and cyclist) is that the rails tell you where the vehicle using them is going to be, and I think this more than makes up for any danger caused by Bikewheel+Rail Negative Interfacing (BRNI). In 25 years of bike riding, 17 of those in cities with trams - I have only fallen twice on tram or train tracks, and the latter - a siding in San Francisco - were just by coincidence removed the next day. BUT of course now trucks are there which makes things worse.

      So, my point is that ERTMS - and I hope you like this metaphor - "crosses" the tracks perpendicularly. That is, ERTMS - with Galileo - is perhaps the other bookend in the precise "knowwhereitisgoing" advantage of rails. I hope this makes sense. The earlier signalling and communication systems for railways certainly provided advantages but so much as ERTMS + Galileo. New rail guidance systems work better than "autopilot" on airplanes and there is simply no way that road traffic can ever match the benefits that metro systems all over the world can provide with their new safety and control systems, which also lets them become "driverless". Thats right, folks, 1500 people at a time, with 60 second intervals, but no driver, shooting through the underground at 80kph!

      Road transport does not - by its very design - have the advantage of the rails: Lanes on roads are guides... NOT dictators! Huge and not so huge pieces of machinery hurtling around at high speed (100 kph tops for lorries and coaches, generally 130kph for cars, up to about 140 kph for freight trains and 350kph for passenger trains) need something to tell them exactly what to do.

      The train driver interface of ERTMS tells drivers (and HQ, etc) where they are, what is ahead, but the system can also stop a train if necessary. So, the " tracks are crossed", and now these two and more dimensions of movement if you like (where to go, spacing, velocity) - are dealt with better than ever.

      With ERTMS and Galileo the inherent advantage of the railways in relation to safety and organisation of vehicles, is, perhaps, completed to a large extent. Or at least takes a huge, regulated leap forward. It will take some time to fully implement, however, and in the meantime - in day-to-day practice and in preparation for that time - we need to make sure that all of our mobility - us and what we consume - is necessary.

      But dont worry... because your feet know where to go on their own!

      Happy New Year!
      - Todd Edelman, Green Idea Factory






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