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BMW Wants to Fix L.A.'s Heavy Traffic Problem with Self-Driving Submarines



The designers at BMW think they can solve L.A. notorious heavy traffic issue with self-driving submarines at an estimated cost of $1.08 billion.

Designers with BMW came up with the idea for the Los Angeles Auto Show's Design Challenge , which asked designers to use a natural phenomenon to solve a human problem. In this case, the designers were inspired by bioluminescent jellyfish.

The team designed Mini Cooper pods that would be propelled by hydrogen fuel that is created by bacteria when salt and fresh water mix.

It is the brainchild of BMW Group DesignWorks USA. The conceptual plan was offered as part of the Los Angeles Auto Show’s annual design challenge. This year’s theme is “Biomimicry and Mobility 2025: Nature's Answer to Human Challenges.” BMW came up with the idea of using the river as an alternative to clogged freeways.

"The idea is that we're making a submarine," says senior designer John Buckingham. "Even though jellyfish were the original inspiration for the direction, we moved towards a more conventional look and we chose Mini to make it fun and playful."

The river itself follows some of L.A.’s most congested freeways — from the 101 in the San Fernando Valley to the 5 through downtown to the 710 to Long Beach. Then there are miles and miles of tributaries that snake through the region as narrow, concrete-lined channels.

The L.A. River has always been one of the region’s most underappreciated assets. Turns out, we just need to stop thinking of it as a waterway and start making it a speedway.

It's a cool idea, but it does sounds like it's more useful for a movie producer working on a SF film.

Hopefully, someone can come up with an idea that can be implemented in more immediate future.

The pods would travel down the Los Angeles River and all its tributaries kind of like mini-subway lines. Gizmodo explains:

The other key part of BMW Designworks' proposal is taking the L.A. River and other tributaries and filling them with enough water so these little submarines can travel around the city on these newly created "subways." In the winter the water does flow tremendously deep through these channels, so they reasoned that flooding the channels permanently would create a dual benefit of replenishing L.A.'s groundwater and preventing billions of gallons of stormwater from flowing directly into the ocean.

In a way, this fantastical idea makes some sense. Before there was Waze, the Los Angeles River was the preferred route for bored teenagers and anti-heroes to escape traffic:

BMW Wants to Fix L.A.'s Heavy Traffic Problem with Self-Driving Submarines Reviewed by Blogs on 1:53 AM Rating: 5

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