Project Information

What are we about?

Sustainable Mobility System for Silicon Valley (SMSSV) is an interdiciplinary project from San Jose State University to design a PRT (Personal Rapid Transport) system using renewable resources.

Project Overview

Present mobility options, especially in dense urban areas are becoming more and more unsustainable. Major issues that plague current options are:

  • Traffic congestion
  • Loss of productivity from time spent in commuting and/or parking
  • Continued use of and dependence on hydrocarbon fuels
  • Increased possibility of accidents that injure people and damage property
  • Decrease in quality of life for residents (wasted time, increased stress, noise, smog, safety)
  • High cost of ownership for private vehicles, especially new 'green' vehicles, such as EVs and HEVs
  • Excessive consumption of raw materials in the production of automobiles
  • Environmental degradation from greenhouse gas emissions and by products from wear out of parts
  • Inadequate mass transportation options (slow, limited service area, and relatively high cost)

Fundamentally different approaches to personal mobility are needed to address the problems listed above and achieve sustainability. An automated transportation network (ATN) system utilizing 'pod cars' is one such approach (see for example: Irving, et. al. (1978), Rydell (2000), and Shawber (2012)).

We propose to develop and bring to market the elements of a solar powered ATN system that will be scalable, replicable, and that can be located within existing rights of way in urban locales.