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FLEXIBLE TRANSPORTATION - A STEP BETWEEN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

by SCHNEIDER, RALF O.

Abstract (Summary)
Currently the automotive industry faces severe problems. To attract buyers in a highly competitive market, price reductions as an incentive have reached unreal levels. To maximize profits, the trend is to use platform strategies whenever possible. Also, the architecture and structure of cars is living a revival of the ladder frame with huge sales of SUV's. One explanation for that is the higher profit of car companies with the sale of ladder frame SUV's compared to space frames. The other reason is that people buy them like they are for free. The public is manipulated with psychological issues like "my car is big so I am safe". The truth is the opposite as recent studies show. Design is used to decorate the interior and exterior. Restyling the appearance, rather than redesign the vehicle, consumes an enormous amount of resources. Furthermore global political conditions and the rise of the cost for crude oil turns increases the awareness and demand for fuel efficiency and alternative energy resources Public transportation systems face numerous problems as well. Lacking support of the government, city planners can't replace old technology. A vicious circle results: the quality of the public transportation declines, public use decreases leading to less revenue. Other issues are infrequent scheduling, lack of goods transportation and insecurity at night. High installation costs are recouped after long periods and the customer needs good reasons to change from the convenience of a car to a mass transit system. Examples like the car sharing in San Francisco or the renting of carts on golf courses show that there are alternatives to owning vehicles. There are certain situations where it is sensible to use a flexible vehicle that one rents for minutes, hours or days. It is necessary to configure and restrict an area for such a system to work. Absolute criteria are to minimize weight and maximize safety. The use for a wide range of people should be considered, common issues like obesity or disability will be addressed. This thesis will explore possibilities of the use of new structures in transportation design. What can we learn out of a comparison of structures to implement into modern transportation design? What happens if one considers the interior more important than the exterior? What are the future needs and desires of the stakeholders in our world of transportation? These are some questions I will address. This multidisciplinary research will result in a vehicle which will be determined by my research, based on the user's needs. I will interview experts in those fields who can explain the current level of technology. Scrutinizing current trends and finding alternatives by viewing the whole extent and the structure within the structure will be part of this thesis.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:public transportation individual universal design car sharing concept

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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