System assurance may be defined as that process by which any system is made safe, reliable, and easy to maintain. Although system safety is not considered explicitly in this paper, a properly designed, reliable, and maintainable system will certainly be a safe system. The paper describes a plan for improving the reliability and maintainability of transportation systems. The reliability budgets for system hardware are presented, and estimates are made of total system performance. An analysis of the relations between system life-cycle cost and system assurance show that the reliability of commercially available subsystems must be improved significantly before planned PRT systems can operate with acceptable assurance. Some recommendations are made as to how such improvements can be accomplished. The paper deals with those factors that can be controlled by system planners and suppliers and that affect the service, comfort, public appeal, and economic feasibility of fully automated, guided transportation systems. Only fully automatic systems are considered, for those systems have been shown to be more economical during the design life than labor-intensive systems. A high degree of automation explains why the Lindenwold Line serving Philadelphia and its New Jersey suburbs is a profitable operation.

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    • This paper appears in Dual Mode Transportation, which is a publication containing the proceedings of a conference conducted by the Transportation Research Board, May 29-31, 1974. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board (TRB)

    Washington, DC   
  • Authors:
    • Smith, Frank C
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1976

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  • Accession Number: 00149265
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 30 1981 12:00AM