Honolulu to Build Nation's First Fully Automated Transit System

Honolulu to Build Nation's First Fully Automated Transit System

Concept art of a rail canopy at a new HART station.

The Honolulu Rail Transit Project will be a fully automated transit system that aims to reduce crippling traffic and allow for safer and more reliable travel across the area.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has begun planning for a transit system that operates without any human input. The goal of this system is to help alleviate the gridlock caused by nearly 1 million residents of the Hawaiian capital contributing to its traffic, which competes with Los Angeles for the title of worst in the country.

HART's system, referred to as the Honolulu Rail Transit Project, is a 20-mile elevated rail line that will transport passengers between downtown and outlying communities. This alternative is expected to reduce traffic congestion by 18%, and reduce the number of automobiles on the road by 40,000. A fleet of four-car trains, with racks for both bicycles and surfboards, will be able to accommodate up to 800 riders. The cost of this project is estimated around $5.2 billion and is expected to be completed sometime in 2017.

Not only will the Honolulu Rail Transit Project be a first for Hawaii, it will also be the first fully automated wide-scale urban transport system in the United States. A centrally-located computer system will control stops, departures, speed, and even open and close doors independently. Dan Grabauskas, executive director and CEO of HART, says the lack of human presence will allow the system to operate less expensively, and even safer. "There are transit systems where driver error has caused collisions or other incidents," he says. "The driverless operation we have is going to be very safe."

The move to automation also permits the system to be adjusted based on the amount of traffic during the day. System managers will also be able to increase the frequency of service, over the course of a 20-hour daily schedule, in response to demand. This means not just commuters stand to benefit, but tourists as well. Around 8 million people visit Hawaii during the course of the year, and HART might just persuade them to come back again and again.

Source: CityLab

Permalink

Vancouver has one of these. It's all great at first but then once you get to a few decades in and it starts to break down, with no one there to direct people when it stops working, it'll be a nightmare down the road if it doesn't have something working in tandem with it.

I wonder if it'll have no humans at all or have atleast a guard as a backup/to assist customers in an emergency. Surely you'd have to have atleast one person on the train incase of incidents.

and here it begins

the slow decline of the transport industry (well in terms of employing people)

I give it a few years before "are robots taking our jobs?" hits the talk shows and news articles

I remember reading a fake article like this in one of the .Hack games. I don't remember it working out too well for them. Lets hope this one isn't infected with a virus created from a rogue AI trying to escape being overwritten.

Lvl 64 Klutz:
I remember reading a fake article like this in one of the .Hack games. I don't remember it working out too well for them. Lets hope this one isn't infected with a virus created from a rogue AI trying to escape being overwritten.

I feel that this is relevant.

image

Source: SMBC http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=1847

I'm not ashamed to admit that fully automated transport of any kind scares me. At least with human errors there's more chance of someone being able to spot and correct a mistake, or even just limit the damage. Sure there will be safeguards, but something will go catastrophically wrong.

"The move to automation also permits the system to be adjusted based on the amount of traffic during the day. System managers will also be able to increase the frequency of service, over the course of a 20-hour daily schedule, in response to demand."

Why does this only work if it's automated? Surely you can do this if you have humans at the wheel?

Oh, of course it happens in some place tropical. Now when the zombie apocalypse comes, Hawaiian survivors can have a true rail-shooter segment.

CardinalPiggles:
I'm not ashamed to admit that fully automated transport of any kind scares me. At least with human errors there's more chance of someone being able to spot and correct a mistake, or even just limit the damage. Sure there will be safeguards, but something will go catastrophically wrong.

I actually feel the complete opposite about that.
With Machine/Software errors, you can actually find the code/part that failed, fix it/replace it, update the designs, and it won't happen exactly that way ever again.
With human error, different humans will keep making the same mistake, because people get bored or become complacent or are idiots.

Singapore's got automated trains on several of the lines, and I can't think of any incidents that didn't involve a suicide or too stupid to live person, though in most cases there's doors a door on the platform preventing access to the track( but those were in place before unmanned trains existed).

thaluikhain:
"The move to automation also permits the system to be adjusted based on the amount of traffic during the day. System managers will also be able to increase the frequency of service, over the course of a 20-hour daily schedule, in response to demand."

Why does this only work if it's automated? Surely you can do this if you have humans at the wheel?

Yup. You can totally do this if you have humans at the wheel. The problem is that if demand is unexpected, there are no humans at the wheel, and getting people in on short notice is difficult and uncertain. Similarly, if there's no demand, the scheduled humans are still there, idle.

CardinalPiggles:
Sure there will be safeguards, but something will go catastrophically wrong.

Sure, something will go wrong, but things go wrong without automation, generally a lot more frequently, and in most cases because some human didn't follow their assigned safeguards.

Vault101:
and here it begins

the slow decline of the transport industry (well in terms of employing people)

I give it a few years before "are robots taking our jobs?" hits the talk shows and news articles

That discussion started with the Google self-driving cars and ended with a "oh wait, you need to still have someone on to handle those squishy things called passengers."

While drivers may no longer be needed, transportation operators will still be in demand. Checking tickets, answering questions, manual overrides when necessary, etc. Hell, US airports have had unmanned trains for over a decade. If anything, this will make them more available to address concerns with unruly passengers and those unfamiliar with the route.

lets hope the computer system isn't hackable.

well, easily hackable. everything is hackable...

They need to hire Arnold to voice destinations over a speaker system, and to proclaim "Come with me if you want to live" every time the doors open.

CardinalPiggles:
I'm not ashamed to admit that fully automated transport of any kind scares me. At least with human errors there's more chance of someone being able to spot and correct a mistake, or even just limit the damage. Sure there will be safeguards, but something will go catastrophically wrong.

The Docklands light railway has been in operation since 1987 and handles 100 million passengers a year. This is old, well established technology. The most common problem is people throwing themselves in front of the train but that, unfortunately, is common across the entire transport network in London regardless of driver.

thaluikhain:
"The move to automation also permits the system to be adjusted based on the amount of traffic during the day. System managers will also be able to increase the frequency of service, over the course of a 20-hour daily schedule, in response to demand."

Why does this only work if it's automated? Surely you can do this if you have humans at the wheel?

Machines don't take holidays, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, go on strike and require pensions. Machines do work holidays and anti social hours for no extra cost and make predictable and repeatable actions. Automated railways have higher capital costs initially but lower running costs. Over 25 years you save significant sums of taxpayers money.

Yep nothing new here, been riding the sky train in Vancouver all my life. Keep in mind that the track will be on raised platforms in a closed loop/system, so it's very simple task to automate. Train pulls up to station, doors open, doors close, train leaves station. That's about it.

I'm pretty sure Las Vegas has an automated monorail. I remember hearing that onboard the train when I was out there a few years ago.

Apparently they don't consider that one wide-scale? Lol.

this is all nice and good untill somone either accudentaly get hurt when door is closing in cabin thats filled with too much people or if system prevents it from closing somone is going to abuse that system to break down all traffic (because it wont drive with door open, thats a big nono).

thaluikhain:
"The move to automation also permits the system to be adjusted based on the amount of traffic during the day. System managers will also be able to increase the frequency of service, over the course of a 20-hour daily schedule, in response to demand."

Why does this only work if it's automated? Surely you can do this if you have humans at the wheel?

you tell a driver to do X. the driver flips you a bird and tells you "hes going to keep to the schedule". a robot obeys.

also 20-hour daily schedule. do tell me what human does these.

Hopefully paying for this doesn't fleece property owners in HI.

It's best that municipalities do everything they can to avoid further pension costs so automated is the way to go. With interest rates as low as they are and the feds kicking in a few, I think the best place to do this would be HI. However what works in HI won't work the same in the CONUS.

I would have thought that HI's system would be leaning more boondogglish. I was wrong.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here