Michigan-based designer Dave Owsen, has conceived of a futuristic transportation solution that provides for private urban transportation via a system of rails and transport cells. In his design, private “cells” or transport cars move on tracks throughout the city, and individuals or small parties can choose their exact destination. Inspired by living plant cells, which are both autonomous and powered by the sun, each cell in the transit system contains photovoltaics to generate renewable energy.

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Each individual cell contains two seats facing each other and is large enough for two adults and cargo, or an adult and two small children. One side of the narrow cell has a sliding door that opens to let the passengers in and out. The opposite wall is stationary and contains a touch-screen interface to select the route and destination. Two monorails parallel each other, which enables moving cells to bypass cells that are arriving or departing from a stop.

The “Community Transit” system would also enable local shipping from business to business with cargo cells, which have the same size openings as a shipping container. As Owsen says, “Cargo cells create incentive for small business peer-to-peer shipping that stimulates local business cooperation.” The windows of each cell feature an organic dye developed by researchers at MIT that concentrates light to the window’s edge, where it is converted to electricity by solar cells bordering the surface.

+ Dave Owsen

Via Green Muze