Automated Transportation

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Second Life Geography

This article is made to give general information about automated vehicles and to offer important links to other themed articles. If you want to insert your own automated vehicles, please read Automated Mainland Vehicle Guidelines first. If you want to insert these vehicles on mainland, there is another thing you must think about: vehicle frequence. On private-owned land, you need to talk with the owners for permission first.


Automated vehicles can be divided into different groups:

  • By the surface they circle on:
    • Parcel vehicles - they move only on a limited area inside a sim
    • Sim vehicles - they move inside a sim
    • Multisim vehicles - they go through more sims, but still they are limited
    • Continental vehicles - they travel accross a huge distance.
  • By the 'brain' mechanism that controls them:
    • Runaway vehicles - they have a random movement
    • Roaming vehicles - they self-orientate on the way, trying to avoid obstacles
    • Programmed vehicles - they move along a well-estabilished route
    • Scheduled vehicles - they follow both a well-estabilished route and a timetable.
  • By the type of route they follow:
    • Road vehicles
    • Railway vehicles (following a 'Guide' or no)
    • Water vehicles
    • Air vehicles
    • Suspended vehicles (monorails, skiruns)
    • Convertable vehicles.
  • By the degrees of freedom a vehicle has:
    • Constrained vehicles (follows exactly the path they are instructed)
    • Guided vehicles (follow the waypoints)
    • Roaming vehicles (find their way through)
    • Passenger controled (partially)
    • Full-controled by passengers (but able to move also without passengers).
  • By how they interact with other avatars and vehicles:
    • Complete invisible (usually used for spy)
    • Phantom vehicles
    • Phantom, but with powers to change things (like railway switches or light stops)
    • Non-phantom vehicles
    • Aggresie vehicles (noisy, spam makers, high lag).
  • By frequence:
    • Occasional vehicles (released at rare occasions)
    • Resident - command released vehicles
    • Rare vehicles (at more then an hour)
    • Average frequence (between 10 minutes and an hour)
    • High number of vehicles (more then one in 10 minutes).
  • By information storage criteria:
    • Single script data
    • Multiscript data (information stored in more then one script)
    • Notecard data (information stored on a notecard)
    • External storage data (information stored outside SL)
    • Rezz data (information stored on multiple scripts, inside a prim that is rezzed to replace used scripts).


Presence of automated vehicles is important. It improves transportation, offers an alternative to visit an area (some vehicles are good tourist guides) and improves local development. On all mainland continents, places with Protected Route are more populated (over 50% more populated) then sims without road, rail or water access. Presence of an automated vehicle seems to improve population density with 10 to 20%.


On the forums and knowledge bases, there were discussions about these vehicles [1][2]. It is clear that some people are happy to see these vehicles, while others are not. Some people follow these vehicles and love to travel, while others want the roads only for themselves. For the moment, the Linden officials don't have a clear policy about vehicles and each case is treated separately[3]. To make an automated vehicle that will travel on Protected Land, you don't need an apprval from the Linden officials. This means that everybody can create vehicles.

When problems appear?

Second Life Geography team made a study along all materials posed on forums, blogs and anywhere about automated vehicles, for the SLGI Trains. It looks like the most common problems are as follows (in order)

  1. Vehicles interact with people and other vehicles on the way.
  2. Roads are blocked by vehicles. This is due to multiple factors.
  3. Vehicles enter private property parcels.
  4. Vehicles create noise. Many people complain about this.
  5. Vehicles have a strange, chaotic movement (and cause multiple traffic problems).
  6. Vehicles create particles that enter nearby parcels.
  7. Vehicles don't have a nice design.
  8. Vehicles move as they shouldn't: cars on railway or on water, boats on roads.

Overall, there is one thing that multiplies all: number of vehicles. For a creator of automated vehicles, this is the bigest task: to find what is the optimum number of vehicles, so they will be appreciated by majority of people and there will make angry less people. Yava Script Pods usually have a schedule of one vehicle every 30 minutes. Around pod bases there can be seen more vehicles, but they tend to follow different routes and separate fast. SLGI Trains have a schedule of one train every 6 hours for each route. For some parts of the railway they follow common route, but still there are not more then 24 trains in 24 hours.

Large - scale transportation

Here are link pages to the transporation companies that have continental or intercontinental coverage (in alphabetic order):

Caledon Railway has automated scheduled trains moving on a rail without 'Guide'. It is found on the private continent Caledon - Winterfel (continental coverage)

Roaming Continental Vehicles is an article made to include all roaming vehicles, found on all continents. They are not owned by a single company (continental coverage)

SLGI Trains - include automated scheduled trains that move on Heterocera and Sansara and are flying between the two continents (intercontinental coverage)

Shopping Continent Taxi Service is an automated transportation service that runs along the roads of private Shopping Continent (continental coverage)

Yava Script Pods - automated tour pod vehicles, sometimes scheduled (intercontinental coverage)

Low - scale transportation

Here are linked pages to transportation companies that have multisim vehicles (in alphabetic order):

East River Railway - very new

See Also

Second Life Geography