A Functional Thinking Approach to the Design of ...

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Third International Workshop on Design in Civil and Environmental Engineering (DCCE3) Technical University of Denmark

A Functional Thinking Approach to the Design of Future Transportation Systems
Taxis as a Proxy for Personal Rapid Transit in South Korea
Paper
Author:Mary Kathryn Thompson (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Hyun Hye Bae (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University, United States)
Date: 2014-08-22     Track: Main     Session: 1
DOI:10.5072/dtu:2883

For over 50 years, personal rapid transit (PRT) has been viewed as one of the most promising ways to provide sustainable, economical, and convenient transportation while reducing reliance on personal automobiles. However, despite concerted efforts around the world, the promise of PRT has yet to be realized. This work demonstrates that different physical means, such as the Korean taxi system, can be used to perform the same highest-level functional requirement, satisfy the same constraints, and provide many of the benefits that are expected of a city-scale personal rapid transit system. Thus, Korean taxis can be used as an alternative embodiment of personal rapid transit and can serve as a test bed to support PRT-related design, research, and development. The paper then explores the transportation patterns and characteristics of cities in South Korea and the United States in order to determine the conditions necessary to create and maintain a PRT-like taxi system and to demonstrate the differences between ‘normal’ and PRT-like taxi systems. Finally, the future of personal rapid transit as a functional and physical transportation paradigm is discussed.