The concept

The Aladdin is a transmodal transit system designed to transport existing vehicles (i.e. combustion vehicles) on driverless platforms across urban zones that are 100% electric. Commuter buses could use the Aladdin system to cross rivers and ride across downtown areas where only electric vehicles are allowed.

The background

Many cities are presently juggling the idea of adopting stricter rules regarding pollution and noises. In addition, congestion on highways and bridges is always a top item on city agendas. There are several possible approach to address these problems, and the Aladdin Transmodal system is one of them. One clear benefit would be the flexibility associated with using existing vehicles (buses, taxis, cars, and small trucks) during a transition period from combustion engines to electric motors. It would also save time spent on switching passengers or cargo from one type of vehicle to the next.

How it works

The disadvantage is obviously the cost of the system and the space it would occupy. However, a full transition to electric will probably take decades given the current capacities of batteries. Probably we will still need wireless electricity to charge our vehicles on the go. The Aladdin is first and foremost an infrastructure that recharges vehicles by induction. This infrastructure could be used by electric vehicle as well as by automated Aladdin platforms. These platforms would be equipped with two to four inwheel motors and a computerized vehicle control system.

Vehicles would embark on the Aladdin platforms through transmodal stations spread out across the city. These stations could vary in size. The Aladdin platforms would also be able to pick up vehicles directly on any city street without using any infrastructure. Once loaded with a vehicle, the Aladdin would use its dedicated ramps go to the destination requested by the user. Access to the system, payment, and desired destination would be completed via smartphone.

As mentioned above, the driverless Aladdin platforms could be used to carry people, cargo, cars, buses, and small trucks inside city districts with zero noise and zero pollution regulations. They could also bridge the gap during a transition period where conventional vehicles are still equipped with combustion engines, and another where all vehicles are equipped with clean and quiet modes of propulsion.

The designer

I would like to thank Ray Mattison from Design Eye-Q who created the renderings of the Aladdin concept. Ray is based near Duluth Minnesota, USA. He studied at the College for Creative Studies, and he has worked for Cirrus Aircraft and Exodus Machines. Ray also created the images of the Argentic Ground Effect vehicle.