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Future Tech: Innovations in Transportation [Paperback]

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Item description for Future Tech: Innovations in Transportation by Paul Schilperoord...

From Leonardo da Vinci's fantastic visions, to Richard Branson's plans to offer commercial space travel by 2010, visionaries and entrepreneurs have long dreamed of how we will travel in the future. Future Tech: Innovations in Transportation is a prescient look at how we will be moving forward over the coming decades. Whilst we are not yet travelling to work using jet-powered backpacks, the issue of transport in the future is becoming increasingly important. As roads have become more congested and the environment more fragile, the means of transport at our disposal seem less and less adequate. Future Tech explores what designers and engineers around the globe are developing for the world of tomorrow. Future Tech features prototypes already in the first stages of manufacture, such as high-speed trains, aquatic automobiles and hydrogen cell cars alongside more conceptual, speculative designs including jet-packs, commercial spacecraft and seaborne residential communities. With further information on sustainable fuels, gravity, solar and wind power alongside a history of mechanised transport, Future Tech is truly a compelling exploration of how the future is imagined in the present.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.69" Width: 7.32" Height: 0.71"
Weight:   1.76 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 30, 2006
Publisher   Black Dog Publishing
ISBN  1904772439  
ISBN13  9781904772439  

Availability  0 units.

More About Paul Schilperoord

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Paul Schilperoord is an European journalist, science and technology writer, and car expert. He was born in The Hague, the Netherlands, and currently lives in Florence.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Transportation > General
2Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Engineering > Civil > Transportation & Highway
3Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Engineering > Industrial, Manufacturing & Operational Syste > General
4Books > Subjects > Science > General
5Books > Subjects > Science > Technology > General & Reference
6Books > Subjects > Science > Technology > History of Technology

Reviews - What do customers think about Future Tech: Innovations in Transportation?

Innovations in Transportation  Jan 4, 2007

Futuristic transportation has fascinated engineers, designers and artists for centuries. Comfortable, reliable cars take us wherever and whenever we want to go. High speed trains offer fast, safe travel over relatively long distances, and jet planes have connected the entire globe and reduced it to less than one day's journey. The ubiquitous Leonardo of Da Vinci Code fame designed airplanes four hundred years before Kitty Hawk.

However, this blessing is not without a curse. Progress has brought congestion, pollution and diminishing energy reserves. Now there is renewed interest in alternatives as emission-free driving and high energy prices become concerns. As these problems loom ever larger, we must now turn to more creative science and technology for solutions. Future Tech, Innovations in Transportation by Paul Schilperoord explores what the future can realistically look like based on concepts and prototypes currently in development by many major and some smaller companies.

Schliperoord looks at land, air and water travel, both historically and futuristically. He examines new concepts in both personal mobility and public transportation. My own special interest described in this book is "SkyTran," a concept for high-capacity, high-speed personal rapid transit developed by my good friend and high school classmate, Doug Malewicki.

This system operates with individual 2 seat vehicles suspended from elevated guideways--not unlike Chicago or New York's elevated trains, but better looking and almost noise-free. Users enter vehicles waiting at a station and program in a destination. The maglev powered car then accelerates into the main grid, whisking the passenger to his destination at speeds up to 100 mph. Maglev is a developing concept. A German company, Transrapid, has installed a maglev system in Shanghai which operates at 280 mph, and Central Japan Railway operates a prototype superconducting maglev train at 340 mph.

Much of the book examines land transportation, both personal vehicles and mass transport. Schilperoord discusses electrics, hybrid electrics, fuel cells, and even steam and air powered vehicles. Interestingly, automobiles were originally electric and steam powered, but they gradually disappeared as gasoline powered internal combustion engines proved a better system.

The main technical disadvantage with electric cars was and remains slow recharging and limited range of heavy batteries. Even though battery technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, advances are for small size applications like watches and computers. Scaling-up to a system large enough to power a car greatly magnifies the problems. Imagine a small lithium computer battery fire which causes minimal damage translated to a car fire that not only destroys one's car but their garage and house too. Future development of all-electrics is certainly possible, and as one example, the book presents the Eliica, developed at Keio University in Japan. It seats five and can attain speeds of over 200 mph. It has a range of 200 miles, but that's at slower speeds.

Hybrid electrics provide a means to solve the recharging and range problems and are already commercially available from Japanese manufacturers. Future hybrids will feature plug-in recharging and maybe even solar panels. Eventually the hybrid's internal combustion engine might be replaced with a fuel cell. Several auto companies are developing hydrogen powered concept cars, but cost is still prohibitive, and a fuel supply system is a long way off.

Public transportation originated as a practical means to make longer distance travel available to the masses. But once cheap cars and gasoline became available after WWII, the public worldwide strived for private car ownership. Reasons include shorter travel times, door to door service, comfort and privacy.

Speed and comfort for longer distances are being provided by high speed trains. More prosaic, both Mercedes-Benz and a Dutch company, are in production with high capacity (200 passenger) automated bus systems. And MIT is pushing the concept of fun little electric city cars for use in dense urban areas. These cars can be stacked throughout the city and rented inexpensively, then dropped off at other stacks.

Whether many of the concepts presented in the book will reach fruition only the future will show. However, it is fun to see what is currently on the drawing boards around the world. Success ultimately depends on available energy sources, environmental protection, and most important, on consumer appeal and acceptance.
Quick and enjoyable update on emerging transport concepts  Sep 5, 2006
This book is the best collection of the latest concepts, development projects and marketable systems known to this reviewer. Its focus is mostly European and Japanese which is probably due mostly to the author's residence (the Netherlands) but there is some content that includes items from America and other nations as well. Five major topics are included:

Road Transport, pp 1-51
Air Travel and Aerospace, pp 52-89
Personal Mobility, pp 90- 119
Public Transport, pp 120-163
Water Transport, pp 164-186

In each section, several major issues (e.g. fuel cells, flying cars, electric drives, magnetic levitation, air lubrication) are examined and then profiles giving specific examples in each category are briefly described. For example, under Road Transport, steam power is discussed, followed by a description of the Turbosteamer concept. Most of the contents of the Road Transport section are new to this reviewer as they are mostly being undertaken in the EU. Most of the concepts presented are intended to assist the movement of people. Some will also accommodate goods and heavy cargo transport as well.

The section on Air Travel and Aerospace includes a wide variety of flying machines, large and small, ranging from the massive A300-800 airplane to the Jetpod T-100 Flying Taxi and the Skyblazer Roadable Aircraft. The Personal Mobility section includes a very interesting array of machines for individuals that offer many solutions for easing urban travel in congested settings. Examples include several scooters, motorcycles and narrow three-wheel vehicles.

The coverage in the Public Transport section is very broad, ranging from high speed bullet-type trains to dualmode (rail and highway capable) trucks to Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) concepts. There is some overlap with the content of the Innovative Transportation Technologies website in this section as it includes the Blade Runner, ULTra, SkyTran and Evacuated Tube Transport (ETT) concepts. Both advanced bus and train systems are included in this section.

The last section includes several waterborne concepts which have significant application potential in many parts of the world. Several stimulating ship concepts are presented (e.g. SkySails, Wave Piercing Catamarans, the Splash Hydroplaning Car) that certainly offer some significant advantages over land- or air-based systems in many locations around the world.
I believe that most of the systems presented in this book will be new to non-EU readers and that the stimulation potential of the materials included is likely to be quite high. Chinese and Korean companies should pay particular attention to this book.

The author has done an excellent job with this book and one can only hope that he will do a second edition or a second book that includes even more of the bright ideas from around the world. Many inventors and small companies are trying hard to overcome the dominant conventional auto-bus-rail industries that currently stifle innovation in this field. The status quo is strongly entrenched almost everywhere. But as concerns about the high levels of transport petroleum energy used and associated pollution generated by conventional air, auto and transit modes rises, innovation is becoming ever more urgent.
Many of the systems included in this book are evolutionary in nature, building on the vast experience we have with the technologies in use today.

Some are quite revolutionary and will have much higher hurdles to overcome to reach the marketplace. The public and their elected officials need to realize that there are some very promising alternatives being worked on vigorously around the world today This book offers everyone a quick update that will help with this major educational task. Auto companies, currently suffering from a worldwide excess of production capacity, some facing bankruptcy and massive layoffs of employees could also benefit from many of the ideas contained in this book - let's urge them develop some new transport products that can offer a more sustainable and livable future for us all.

Jerry Schneider
Salem, Oregon, USA

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