Fun thought experiment that I swear is related to this…
NC State’s mechanical/aerospace engineering program has a lab working on something called the “ecoPRT”, which is an autonomous carriage-shuttle-thing that can both run on regular roads/sidewalks, cheaply-built dedicated guideways, and probably be ordered like an Uber or Lyft. It seems like the lab it’s from is still working on the software and test runs, but they’ve gotten funding and support from the Research Triangle Foundation and the state legislature -and they want to eventually use it in and around State’s campuses.
State is sort of-vaguely-kinda looking at adding new mass transit infrastructure on campus, and it looks like ecoPRT is the most serious option they’ve looked at. I’m a grad student here and I’ve been frustrated enough by how long it takes to go on a GoTriangle bus from Centennial Campus that I tried to find this, so this is how I found out about this thing in the first place.
Assuming they can get it working soon enough (they’re supposed to start field tests around the engineering campus by now but I haven’t seen any signs of it -and they’ve been awful about keeping their website and Twitter up to date), what if ecoPRTs could be used to connect State, Amazon (if they come to Spring Hills), Dix Park, Western Blvd., and even the rest of downtown?