Twenty Year Plan

Driverless trafficThe DRPT (Department of Rail and Public Transportation) uses railroad modeling software to forecast the effect of changes to the performance of the trains. While such software is useful, and probably reasonably valid, for thinking through short-term changes, it cannot predict what is going to happen twenty years from now. Yet this is what they are attempting to do. The assume that,

 The future is a linear continuation of the present

 This assumption is particularly problematic given the profound changes that are currently taking place in the transportation industry. These include:

  • Driverless trucks that will upend the road transportation business.
  • Driverless trains.
  • Mag-lev trains in vacuum tunnels (hyperloop).
  • Great improvements to train management with the use of modern scheduling software and signaling systems.
  • Uber-like systems for both freight and passengers.

I have drafted a letter to the DRPT challenging their way of planning and urging them to include the impact of modern technology in their plans.

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