As it was previously reported, on August 25-26 Novosibirsk hosted a forum under the auspices of creating a new infrastructure environment that will allow every resident to use at the same level the communication and information possibilities of the city's transport infrastructure regardless of the physiological characteristics. Representatives of the SkyWay Group of Companies led by Sergey Sibiryakov participated in the event and made a presentation of the SkyWay transport technology for the members of the city administration and the scientific community of Novosibirsk. Sergey Sibiryakov described the details of the business trip, as well as the prospects to implement the SkyWay transport system in his interview to the information service of the SkyWay Group of Companies.
- Good day, Sergey. Tell us how was the SkyWay project presented?
- Today it is not a secret for anybody that the car of the first level, to which we are all accustomed, is the largest factor affecting the mortality and injury or disability as a result of road accidents: each year about 1.5 million people are killed and more than 15 million become disabled. In fact, these figures are comparable with the human toll of a war. This "war" is permanent; however, the problem is not considered at a serious level, people prefer to remain silent about it.
It happens so because at the current stage of civilization development the humanity cannot provide an adequate substitute for the car. It is also true about air transport, because there is no alternative to the speed of the aircraft movement. As a result, people continue using the airplane in spite of the tremendous damage that it causes to the environment.
Therefore, presentation of the SkyWay transport in EcoTechnoPark is very important for us, as this will allow us to say that the alternative already exists and it is ready for use. Our technology can solve a range of problems thanks to its possibilities. As an example, there is the development of cellular communications, which made it unreasonable to increase stationary telephone lines because almost everyone has a mobile phone now. The same refers to the development of the Internet: due to the development of Internet technologies, the information field is so wide and the number of gadgets is so diverse that everyone can find the required information in accordance with his physiological characteristics.
In my opinion, the SkyWay transport technology has a great potential and can significantly change the shape of future cities and to increase dramatically mobility for everyone, regardless of the person’s physiological characteristics. The development of urban infrastructure with the introduction of the SkyWay technology and the opportunities that people will obtain thanks to it were the subjects of my report, which aroused great interest among the audience and contributed to further discussion of the SkyWay possibilities. My letter of gratitude is a clear confirmation that we gave a very interesting direction for the future development of the transport and social sphere of the city.
- Sergey, tell us more details about the prospects that the SkyWay technology brings to the citizens and also to people with disabilities both in the near future and in the long term.
- The concept of building routes by SkyWay technology incorporates the possibility of travelling for people with disabilities, even for wheelchair users. At the moment, Anatoly Yunitskiy is designing a transport module, which any disabled person in a wheelchair can easily board. In addition, any unibike has a mobile chair. This is already an analogue of the concept we speak about: from any point to any point.
After the Novosibirsk forum, we communicated closely with the Director of the Technopark of Novosibirsk Aсademgorodok (Academic Town) Dmitry Verhovod, we discussed the first potential targeted project to be implemented in the near future. It is the launch of a track for unibikes on the campus of the Novosibirsk University. This track can link Aсademgorodok with the center of Novosibirsk allowing to avoid constant traffic jams. I think this is going to be designed at the end of this year or early next year. And then, as the network will be developed, according to our logics, people will travel around the city in personal capsules, in which it will be possible to move to any point on the map. The network will be developed first in Novosibirsk, then in Siberia, then in Eurasia. I think it is a very near future.
- Did you discuss any other potential targeted projects in addition to this?
- Let’s start with the fact that Novosibirsk is a typical representative of the transport infrastructure that is not designed for such number of motor vehicles. The traffic situation is similar to other large metropolitan cities: a great number of traffic jams and a significant time for moving around the city in peak hours (about 4 hours of idle time in a traffic jam). Therefore, there are really many potential targeted projects.
The first important project is the Academgorodok. The second is recreational, sportive-touring tracks. Academgorodok has traditionally been pedestrian, but as it increased in size and the number of residents, and with subsequent increase in private car transport, it ceased to be environmentally clean. There is a constant deforestation and Academgorodok is gradually losing its status as an environmentally friendly area, turning into a typical technopolis. Therefore, the introduction of SkyWay tracks will allow this place to be made more consistent with the original intent — to be innovative, "green" and sportive city.
The University management along with the staff actively use bicycle transport and cycle lanes remained in the campus, though, unfortunately, most of them are overgrown with grass. Therefore, it is now possible to revive the original tradition and to recreate a bike park. The interest in it is the biggest...
- Can the introduction of the SkyWay technology reduce the percentage of disability among the population, and what potential opportunities can our technology offer to this category of citizens?
- Unfortunately, the number of disabled people among the population is not only a consequence of injuries in road accidents. There is also a medical factor. It is absolutely clear that we cannot reduce radically the percentage of disability. This possibility will appear only when the SkyWay technology will be applied widely. However, even for the existing Novosibirsk residents with disabilities the introduction of our technology is critical, and our urgent task is to provide them with it.
For 60-80 thousands of wheelchair users living in the Novosibirsk region, the SkyWay is the very possibility with which they will be able to travel around the city. A modern wheelchair with an electric drive and joystick control costs from 400 to 600 thousand Russian rubles, almost 5 times more expensive than the planned cost of a unibike. Given the fact that people will travel in an integrated transport network, they will get the opportunity to ride on their required route just as easily as normal citizens do. That is, people get absolutely equal opportunities, regardless of their physiological differences. And the sooner this network starts to operate, the faster they will become productive citizens. In the whole country it is dozens of millions people. The technology performs essentially two functions: it prevents disability and provides new opportunities.
- You have earlier visited Novosibirsk repeatedly, but this time in addition to ordinary citizens you met with representatives of the city administration: the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, the Head of the development Department, etc. Tell me, in your opinion, are the administration and the Novosibirsk residents ready to introduce the SkyWay transport technology and what should be a turning point in the adoption of a positive decision?
- The logics of our business trips around the regions of Russia is quite clear and simple: we go to the places where we are called, as the ground before our arrival is prepared by our activists, which present the SkyWay technology to the local authorities in advance. Such invitations are often received directly from administrations of cities to conduct a more detailed presentation.
In Novosibirsk, the Mayor of the city is quite an extraordinary, open and approachable person, who is not afraid to take important and innovative steps to improve the urban infrastructure. The team that he has gathered is also focused on the result, therefore, we have conducted meaningful talks. We gave the necessary and useful information, and they were ready to listen. So we are now discussing those projects that should be prepared for implementation.
- Any actual results achieved?
- Certainly. The result of our conversation was the agreement to set up a working group headed by the Chief of the Department of industry and transport of the Novosibirsk city administration. We begin to develop the concept of city development with regard to the implementation of SkyWay technology and, based on this concept, we plan to reach specific targeted projects until the end of the year.
- What are the differences of Novosibirsk in comparison with other cities you have previously visited?
- Novosibirsk is one of the hallmark cities of Russia, which has always positioned itself not only as the third most populous city in the country, but also as a unique and innovative center with a powerful scientific potential. For example, the city has a street, which houses 23 academic Institutes.
In terms of our priorities, Novosibirsk stands in the forefront as the local authorities potentially treat our technology as a city-forming one and show a genuine interest to it. Another important point is the possibility to use technical developments of the Novosibirsk region: new materials, electronics, control systems, thereby providing the widest range of interaction.
The management and scientific community of the Novosibirsk region are interested not only as the ultimate recipients of the product, but also as direct participants of the project. Mutual understanding and joint work are most promising here. Watching the EcoTechnoPark construction, our partners understand that SkyWay technologies do not look like a sort of a start-up, developments of which can be used in the long term, but they meet all the necessary requirements for implementation in the nearest time. Our Novosibirsk colleagues have already received the invitation to the demonstration of a functioning sample in EcoTechnoPark and promised to attend it without fail.