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TRIZ Challenge - June 2001

| On 02, Jun 2001

We challenge you to use your TRIZ skills and your knowledge to help solve a humanitarian or social problem. We hope that you will submit your results for publication in the TRIZ journal. Every few months we will set a new challenge – but that does not mean that you cannot continue to work on previous challenges, indeed you may have chosen to work on this for your project or coursework.

Send your results, ideas, comments and suggestions for future challenges to challenge@triz-journal.com

This month’s challenge is a mixture of physical and social. How do we encourage people to use fuel-efficient forms of transport?

We have used 850 Giga-barrels of the estimated 2100 Giga-barrels (Gb) of available crude oil. Last year (2000) 23 Gb were used and demand is rising. Although some vehicles are starting to use fuel other than oil derivatives, this still represents less than 1% of the total transport needs. (See www.runningonempty.org ) This demand on our natural resources could be reduced if people were to use more efficient forms of transport, including forms of mass transit.

We all like the freedom to travel when and where we want to, to have our own personal space to be able to choose our travelling companions. In general, lots of small half full vehicles use more fuel than one larger full vehicle, but this does not give the freedom to change the route as you travel, or for everyone to travel directly to their destination. With more vehicles there is also greater pressure on other resources such as storage, route-ways, and fuelling points.

The challenge is to use TRIZ to find a social solution that enables people to accept mass transit and travel, or to find an engineering solution such that the individuals needs are met whilst dramatically reducing the demand on the worlds finite resources.

Can you find a second use for the time whilst we travel? Can our fellow travellers / passengers be used as a resource? Should we be aware of travel, or could this be entirely done in a virtual environment?