NZTA and the Ministry of Transport have announced a region wide pilot of a revolutionary new transport concept known as Shared Mobility Macrotransit.
The new system, known as ShaMM, integrates big data and predictive network optimisation to deliver a network of transit connectivity operating a regionwide web of trunk and node mobility services.
ShaMM relies on a pre-predicted offline network routing algorithm, where decisions on optimal route allocation are made in advance based on a combination of multiple-data-stream historical analysis enhanced with flexible-logic planning heuristics.
Ministry of Transport technology spokesperson Hugh Briss said “We know that hypothetical tech is the answer to every transport problem, big or small. The cutting edge ShaMM tech will allow Aucklanders the flexibility to travel wherever and whenever the want, without contributing to traffic congestion or even needing a personally owned private car. ShaMM is nothing short of a revolution for urban mobility systems, and will change the very shape of Auckland”
Mr Briss explained: “The killer app of the ShaMM mobility service is the integration of hard infrastructure vehicle systems for core macro network capacity, and flexible on-demand ambulatory transport for first-mile last-mile micro connectivity. You don’t need your own vehicle waiting, it’s the gig economy for transport”.
However, some remain unconvinced. International public transport guru and amateur botany enthusiast Max Headway was critical of the proposal, suggesting that “the problem with these sorts of tech solutions is that they are too focused on basic geometry; instead of realistic, practical solutions like personal drones and driverless micro transit”.
NZTA reports that the macro sized shared mobility vehicles will be able to support dozens of passengers at a time, optimising vehicle occupancy and fleet resource utilisation by targeting the trunk route segments to share mobility service costs among multiple users.
The ShaMM vehicles will have a dedicated semi-autonomous guidance operator, with a primarily visual neural processing system, backed up with secondary auditory and haptic feedback circuits. The operator is capable of fully autonomous object avoidance as well as active localised rerouting in response to disruptions. The vehicles feature an integrated on-board energy storage and motive power delivery system, that allows them to operate independently of their base depot for up to twelve hours without replenishing energy reserves. The interiors will feature USB ports and Wifi connectivity, and may include seats.
Distributed access nodes will be delivered throughout the Auckland region, with a network access point within 500m of 90% of residences and workplaces in the city. Users can identify access nodes using a range of mobile apps, web services, or physical orientation identifiers located at each access point. Once the user has accessed the ShaMM macrotransit network they can use mobile apps or onboard data display systems to plan a journey to any other point on the network.
User access charges will be automatically calculated based on a matrix of origin and destination cost rates, and can be authorised using an account based contactless radio frequency payment system. This will supported by a secondary redundant fare reconciliation pathway based on an existing exchange media with widespread market penetration, comprised of low value metal tokens and higher denomination plastic vouchers.
Hugh Briss noted “ShaMM is simply the greatest contribution to urban transport since the development of the bus”.