INIST launches the Solar Skyways Challenge
The Solar Skyways Challenge, a $10,000 prize for providing valuable research to create a future solar based mobility system, presents a unique opportunity for select university students to gain industry experience while raising the bar for mobility.
Students are required to create multidisciplinary teams to design, build and improve solar-powered, personalized, Automated Transit Networks (ATN’s) and their vehicles (podcars). Students will receive support and access to extensive experience and expertise in solar technology and sustainable transportation from INIST. Selected members of the best performing teams will be invited to present their projects and receive their grants at the award ceremony of the annual international Podcar conference, Podcar City 7, in the fall of 2013 in Washington, DC.
“This research and development effort is very timely as we just finished our own study of an ATN system serving the Mineta San Jose International Airport area. We believe ATN’s hold great promise as a new transportation mode than can help cities be more livable and reduce dependency on car travel. We welcome opportunities for more creative thinking on how to advance the ATN industry,” says Hans Larsen, Transportation Director at the City of San José, California.
“For INIST and solar transportation, this is a very exciting way to push the envelope and find real solutions that address our urgent need to switch from carbon based energy to the amazing power of silicon based energy for transportation,” says Ron Swenson, board member and director at INIST.Professor Buff Furman from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at San José State University says, “We are thrilled to be engaging students from multiple academic disciplines in a complex, real world project that has potential to significantly improve the sustainability of personal mobility.”
Podcars, also known as Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) or Automated Transit Networks (ATNs), are systems of small, lightweight, driverless, computer-controlled vehicles operating on an elevated guide-way. The systems are analogous to a personalized taxi on a dedicated guideway elevated above street congestion going directly to their destination without the need to stop along the way. The systems are energy efficient and can be powered using only solar and other types of renewable energy.
About The International Institute of Sustainable Transportation
INIST promotes new modes of sustainable transportation through gathering and disseminating high quality information and research. INIST supports automated, effective and safe modes of transportation that can add value to existing transportation systems and create attractive, effective and economical alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles to improve people’s quality of life. For more information, visit www.INIST.org.
Demonstration movies on Solar Transportation: www.youtube.com/INISTvideos
Ron Swenson, INIST – The International Institute of Sustainable Transportation
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