An interdisciplinary team from MIT, including students from the urban planning department and the Media Lab, just won the 2009 Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Their project, which they call SPM/MoD (Sustainable Personal Mobility and Mobility-on-Demand Systems) is a car- and bike-sharing system with supercompact vehicles (the CityCar and the RoboBike) and a sophisticated dynamic pricing system that's designed to minimize travel times and balance the demands on the system. Pictures below. Full details are here.
The shiny features.
RoboBikes at a 7-11.
The idea is to power the system with solar and other clean energy sources.
The MIT team says "Mobility-on-demand systems generally are not replacements for transit systems. Instead, they operate effectively as partners of transit systems, and enhance the efficiency and attractiveness of these systems by solving the 'first kilometer' and 'last kilometer' problems."
A diagram of the model that would govern the pricing and supply of the system.Via Archinect.