Architects released a plan to sort out London traffic… with conveyor belts
London’s notorious traffic and pollution-laden air will be a thing of the past, if a group of turtlenecks have their way.
PLP Architecture has floated the idea of a so-called ‘CarTube’, which sounds like some kind of YouTube spinoff, but instead is a massive underground network of travelators wedged somewhere in between the tube tunnels, sewers, and whatever else is buried down there. The idea is that future drivers will be able to shoot down a slip road, join a conveyor belt, go for a merry ride underneath London and pop back up (give or take) where they need to be. Intelligent, autonomous cars would interact with the system to join the correct belts, so you could relax in the cabin with a croissant, endlessly refreshing your Instagram feed. Tasty.
If we were the sort to wear a watch the size of a tuna can and have the job title of ‘Head Disruptor’ on our business cards, we’d call the concept ‘blue sky thinking’ – PLP’s plan relies on fully autonomous, internet-enabled, emissions-free (read: electric) cars, joining vast underground conveyor belts to take us to our destination. Safely deposited, the car would then park itself in a stack, kind of like that bit in Minority Report. Yes, it’s all possible, even with today’s tech, but the idea of a treelined Westminster Bridge, free from traffic, does seem to forget about those who still like the idea of a mechanical car that uses fluids derived from prehistoric kelp and plesiosaurs.
At the moment, the idea feels a bit like a World’s Fair exhibit, with flying cars and robot nannies and such. That said, never say never…