From WikiWorld

Jump to: navigation, search

In the 50's we had great dreams for future transportation systems of the new millennium. What happened? We have a great interstate highway system that serves as a parking lot for 3 hours every morning and evening in populated areas. The gasoline wasted sitting in traffic is a ridiculous waste of our precious natural resources. Much of the rail system has fallen into disuse and is abandoned. The great transportation system of the beginning of the last century has been replaced by everyone in their own car. In most areas, public transportation is simply not available. An investment to fix this situation only makes common sense. People don't like sitting in traffic, if we provide a reasonable alternative people will use it. We will create value while correcting a irresponsible waste of our shared resources that pollutes our air.

People will use public transportation if it is:

  • conveniently available (scalable)
  • comfortable
  • reliable
  • fast
  • cheap as gas.
  • safe

http://www.nas.edu/trb/publications/millennium/00120.pdf %%%http://www.developersms.com/


I use and advocate public transportation. At present, unfortunately, I find it grossly inadequate and dehumanizing. Crammed in crowded trains I often dream about various ideal systems. WE should do something. -- JimScarver


Driverless cars, boats and airplanes

Driverless cars are in our futures because people are bad drivers. We can expect our highways, waterways and airways will someday be too busy for human drivers navigate. While many predict these to be available by 2020 the reality may be closer to or beyond 2050. Ubiquitous availability of taxi like vehicles both public and private will make owning a private vehicle ownership much less attractive.

These ought to be lightweight and efficient, but have the setback of sharing the same roads as humans.

National Lightweight Monorail System

We can't use lightweight cars on the road because trucks would squash them or they might blow off the road. But they would work nicely for reliable operatorless monorail cars riding under a track on two wheels, each with direct drive electronic induction motors.

Hydrolic cylendars connecting the car to the motor and wheels will lower the vehicle to ground level for boarding and unboading.

The cars would operate like elevators, you can call them Levelators. You press a button at an acces poiny or on your cell phone and the next car stops (or maybe the next car if first car stopped recently and has no passengers for this stop, etc., or you request a private car). The interior is like a luxury van. Your PDA connects instantly to the wireless lan. Headphones are provided for the TV or radio...

You scan your card and punch in your destination, lay your seat back and nap until the car tells you to get off.

The cars run safely above plants animals cars and people along interstate highways, railroads beds (abandoned or not), over swamps, wherever with minimal environmental impact. Fail safe computer control allows the cars to run as little as six inches apart at 120 miles per hour safely. The total capacity would be comparable to existing interstate highways. Like railroads, a single track with sidings at stops can support traffic in both directions in low traffic areas.

Each car has its own hybrid power system. A 15 horse power turbine turns on when needed to recharge the batteries. It is just enough to keep it cruising at night or on cloudy days when the solar cells (if equipped) are insufficient. The power of acceleration is reclaimed in breaking (using the induction motors as generators). The failure of either drive system will not prevent the vehicle from getting to safety using the remaining engine. The turbine can burn renewable fuels such as hydrogen, methane and alcohol as well as regular gasoline or even heating oil. The car can also get power from the track where available. Electrical power, roadway lighting, cable and telephone service can share the cattery (replacing telephone poles where they run).

You can schedule a private car for family or business outings, or if it's worth it to you, own you own custom car and take it with you. At many destinations, electric cars are available by the hour with a swipe of your card (and your pin) for local transport, or hit the taxi button when you get on and one will be waiting when you arrive.

Aside from the computer control and switching, the system is very light weight and low tech using ordinary materials and simple construction. Because the wheels are connected directly to the motor shafts, there are no other moving parts. Because of the simplicity, engineering it to be safe is fairly straight forward compared to highways, automobiles and airplanes. Although there is no driver, there is still the panic button and manual emergency break.

The hybrid monorail cars should get at least 100 miles per gallon (gas equivalent). The cost of the cars themselves (without solar cells) would be considerably less than automobiles, vans, or buses. The rails and supports cost would be comparable to traditional road ways with greater volume potential.

An unlimited public transportation pass for $100 per month (less for children and students) could help create the economy of scale needed to improve transportation and encourage people to drive cars less.

A ten cents a gallon gas tax nationwide would fund the project and encourage its use. That will bring in 10 Billion a year. At a thousand dollars a foot, that would build 10 Million feet, or nearly 20 thousand miles of rail a year.

Why tax anyone at all just issue the needed funds as a loan against the future value of the transportation system. It can serve as it's own capital using FutureValue synernomic Capitalism. Only tax gas if too many people are still driving cars. They should pay for polluting our air and wasting our resources.

Ubiquitous means |"everywhere|", which is appealing to someone frustrated with the propensity for bus stops not to be within walking distance of most places of employment. Perhaps |"pervasive|" would have been a better choice than |"ubiquitous|", given the popularity of speaking of |"pervasive computing|". Perhaps SpringBasedAlgorithms [1] could contribute to pervasive. If transit vehicles |"repel|" other transit vehicles, the average distance to the nearest transit vehicle is minimized. For this a network for transmitting information about the location of vehicles in real time would be desirable, along with algorithms to steer vehicles toward transit vacuums. Another object would be transit requests, which would |"attract|" vehicles.


I love it. I still think we should shoot for ubiquitous. I think levelators could serve most all towns of 50 thousand or more, for the rest, we need other solutions.

I had Lyme's disease which resulted in Bell's palsy and temporary paralysis of my vocal cords and a propensity to pass out when coughing irritates the damaged nerves. For this reason (not to mention the fact that I'm too stupid to not drive when I've been drinking too much) I decided not to drive anymore. Living in this world without driving is nearly impossible without depending on other people. they say driving is a privilege, not a right, but unless there is some alternative in this world it should be a right. I know a lot of people that shouldn't drive but do because you must to get along in this world. Let's fix it. -- JimScarver

Everyone is a taxi

In [Jamaica], almost every private car is a taxi. For about 4 bucks(200J), the standard rate, anybody will take you anywhere in the area. Competition is so fierce that if you have a little patience, you can ride for as little as 50 cents(25J).


In the 60's transportation was ubiquitous. You could go on any road and stick out your thumb and go anywhere on the continent. It was way cool. I did wait 5 hours for a ride once back then, too many other hitchhikers. (I did walk all day once without seeing a car to find that the road was blocked by an avalanche).

Today only weirdo's hitchhike, and only weirdo's pick up hitchhikers. The dangerous weirdo's are rare, we can only protect people from them be picking up by them by picking them up before the weirdo does. We are then at risk of having picked up one. We can hope that we can make a difference in the life of a troubled brother, but should use care and common sense when picking up people. A full life requires taking risks, but not stupid risks.

Ride sharing

Suppose the Levelators broker ride sharing, when you schedule a seat from home, or swipe on to the car, the system can identify potential ride sharing opportunities including private automobiles (if you choose), cab sharing, and public options. More regular car pooling arrangements on cost sharing or alternating basis can be brokered by the participants themselves when the |"hook ups|" are positive. The system can remember who you would prefer not to ride with. Since the system records who went with who, the dangers of ride sharing are greatly reduced.

A web service could allow the brokerage system to be distributed and decentralized and allow integration into user and supplier systems. The system can be built to support existing transportation using home/office computers and kiosks at transportation stations.

Yellow Bicycles

Take an old bike, paint it with ugly yellow house paint, presto, it is a public domain bike. See one, ride it to a public area walking distance to your destination and leave it for the next person.

I first heard the idea in Frisco back in the sixties, I think. In about 88 I was in Amsterdam and noticed that although most bikes were locked up, the locks used were not much of a deterrent. It seemed, locking up bike was more of a symbolic gesture. I saw a few bikes not locked up, and then it hit me They were painted ugly yellow! Public domain bicycles! It was so cool I almost cried. Portland employed a yellow bicycle project with some success popularized on wards site http://c2.com/ybp . -- JimScarver

Some colleges, I've been told, are notorious for all bicycles being considered 'public' and used as such. I don't recall their names at the moment, but I thought they were East Coast, for some reason.

I really like the Levelators... a couple of things though...

'Arg. I gotta do WikiTalk and WikiObjectUses,, you may need to respond to some of these yourself. My dad always said, every problem is an opportunity, after all, solving problems creates value, solving problems is the manifestation of intelligence. There really are not tough problem with ubiquitous public transportation except the will to do it. My dad made money solving problems. One advantage of waiting is that better solutions are possible now.'

'My train home tonight way so packed I had to ride in the vestibule, it was 20 minutes late and I missed my connection to Hopatcong. The current system is pathetic. It is stifling the economy. No more people can get in and out of the cities by any means. Business is parked in traffic wasting the crude oil that could be made into pharmaceuticals, food products, textiles, durable goods, and Levelators. Nature worked hard making all those complex organic compounds, it is the substance of life preserved for millions of years. It is a sin to burn so much of it even when we are getting some where. It is an abomination to burn it sitting in traffic. Let's stop the madness.'

  1. No wireless access. Not for effectively a few generations. Wireless access is going to be clamped down like free thought at a book burning. No security, too much free ride.

'You know how long we've been doing wireless, our colleges at http://mformation.com and other companies offering the authentication and security features today. It ain't rocket science....'

Parents would get mad about their pre and young teens porn surfing. Everyone would get mad at the peds using it. Law would be mad at crooks, particularly organized crime using it. National Gov'Mint would forbid it because it would complicate their snooping on everyone, particularly those looking not to be snooped on.

'Come on, it is no different from accessing the Internet from your local library or school. We need to allure people to use these cars, the cars need communications anyway, the added cost would be minimal. Infrared might be sufficient to work, but i predict more people will be using controlled services over 802.11, but who knows. The high speed Internet access is a keeper.'

  1. Luxury? Only in Very Moneyed Subnets. Humans act just like monkeys in how destructive on the general environment. High traffic subnets would were out quickly, meaning the replacements will be a no-frills option, as the common inconsiderate vandals known as generic rider will just destroy it anyways, so save that money for replacing the basic unit. People are going to get sick, use it as a toilet, traveling sex spot, yadda yadda yadda. Same thing now as the local buses, metro, etc. Whatever problems they have now, will be the same.

'Wrong Yes, we could make cars completely from lexan or other materials that can't be destroyed. But that is sending the wrong message and I don't want to ride in those cars. We know what TheGoodLife is and will never get it if we settle for less. We can compromise, luxury can be durable. I am a BIG guy and I expect to be able to stretch out, read my email, have coffee or a beer. Treat people like cattle and you might as well eat them. They will not be Human Beings.'

'At the same time we don't need to tolerate the abuse of our shared resources. If they are worthy of our pride, social pressure will go a long way toward keeping them nice. Cameras are necessary in driver less vehicles and platforms. WE should catch the culprits and make sure they clean a lot of cars as public service. It might make them think twice about doing worse things. We need to be vigilant, but privacy must also be respected.'

  1. Jurisdictional wars will constantly go on, unless we make the Levelators one Buru of it's own. Then, you will see all the common problems of the UsVersusThem and UsAndThem dynamics going on. And of course the intra buru garbage that goes on in mega-department/buru such as the DoD and what not. Sounds like the perfect hunting ground for Human Predators. Their range is limited to time on the system...

'Yes, it won't work everywhere. But there are no alternatives in some areas and other will follow suit if it works well. We don't need or want any mega beuro, we just need standards that allow anyone to extend the network, it can grow without central control, like the Internet.'

Remember... ideas are fantastic. But remember that 25% of Humans are going to destroy it for the fun of it, 25% of Humans are going to min/max all the money they can out of it for themselves, 25% of Humans will actually use it as intended, and 25% of Humans are going to insist on it never being started as they prefer the total control they have by owning their own car which can take them anywhere they want anytime they want (no waiting, goes exactly where they want, and they get the illusion of perfect privacy at all times).

'When I drove, I'd gladly have paid 10 cents a gallon tax to get some of the other cars off the road so I could get to work in 20 minutes rather than 2 hours. Almost nobody likes taking their car into new york. Who would want to drive to Florida from new york if they could get their in half the time and ride in comfort for less money than gas? Or who would rather fly to Boston, Washington or Pittsburgh?'

I really am all for this. Just pointing out a few of the problems.

A few more... if you replace local telephone/cable/electricity lines (which are private property, not public, despite what you get told to your face), then you can guarantee that the Cable Company, Telephone Company, and Electric Company end up owning your local subnet. And eventually, the whole network overall. Rates will be controlled by them, policy by them, etc. This will mean they'll service who they want the best, and screw the rest harder. Such is the way of corporations. How much rail do you have to run to be able to take a subsection offline for standard maintenance repair and upgrade, including for any subsystem included in the rail line (cable, power, phone, etc)?

'Poles are private but the phone company has no choice in leasing it to other utilities. Municipal contracts are a hassle but the utilities don't own my town. Other uses are optional in any case. In some areas pols that need replacing are just another reason to put up rails.'

Having replaced all your neighborhood power poles and whatnot... now who is going to build the elevated access points, maintain them, etc? Who pays for people slipping and hurting themselves? (Lots of cons and a few legits, forever ongoing growing costs source). And how do Americans with Disabilities utilize the system? You need ground level access points to cut down on the ongoing con costs... and running the system at ground level defeats the purpose. :D Spur stations would help, but lots of access points = more land used at ground level, and more land used for transitioning from ground to normal local subnet level.

'The hydrolic cylendars can lower cars to ground level anyplace there is clearence. ultrasonics, infared and or radar safety controls can insure they don't drop on anybody or anything. The best place to run these is underground, but that is mostly phase two :).'

What about weather? Lightning strikes, Ice, Earthquakes, etc?

The overhead track is a perfect lighting rod. The cars themselves are insulators. The rail design can minimize ice and snow problems. Flexible overlapping joints at towers and auto shutdown can minimize earthquake vulnerability.'

 Rail  '  (top is supposed to be domed somewhat)
'/---  ---|'''''
|      O tire  /  |                 Top hat helps keep weather out
 |    || ||     /|   '''_||'''''''*||
  |   || +---------||'''_ motor||     Wheel can only come out with axle off
   |  || ||   /     /|| ||  ||'''''''*||
    --O--      / || ||              If any water get in it drains out bottom
         (ditto)/ /|| ||
               / / || ||              If wheel tilts too much it acts as break
      leveler / /  || ||
             / /   || ||              not to scale
     car top             |          folded G-rail with I-beam like ends
                                    provides great strength for long runs

The interstate system was made so US Forces could quickly mobilize and travel from coast to coast. Worked out great... for a while. It's fine where I'm living now, but I know firsthand it sucks in higher concentrations of people. The main problem is... when you build a road, it will be used, whether it was needed before or not. Taking the roads away will be difficult, and the people who have a choice will most likely choose not to use the Levelators, and stick with using their private autos. That is the same reason now we haven't transitioned to a wider use of Public Transportation (people support PT, it turns out, more so that you will not drive, thereby making more room on the road for themselves. Problem is, there are very few long-term yous versus long term themselves). Maybe in another couple of generations, people will be willing... but then again, SoloTrek [2] should be common then as well. For those with the $$$, anyways. ;-)

'Cool, but mass flying machines will have to be on automated control also, the skys are busy already.'

SP: Funny, but NASA has been working on that for years. With small and medium airport hubs automatically handling such things. It's their HUB project, IIRC. You want to travel from Boston area (Framingham, say) to D.C. area (Reston VA, say). You hit a local web site, see what Sky Cruzers/Cabs are headed that way. If no direct, it shows you the projected linkages (like current air line travel), you drive down to your local small field air port, climb aboard, and are off. Meant for cheap, long distance travel as well as just side to side of cities. Designed with automated airplanes in mind... the plane does all the flying, you just along for the ride. If only they had gone with monorails, instead, we might have the levelator today. ;)

'Make it nice, and cheaper than gas, and you'll see how cheap people are :)'

So... you have to force people to have no other options to use public transport. That's the only way to make it work nationally. Just how I see things... doesn't mean I'm even remotely correct. :-P ~~ ~~ ~~

'no force involved, just too good a value to pass up.'

'There is no other choice in the new york area, the roads and the trains are packed, this is a place to make it start. LA could be first if they buy it first. :)'


'There are more problems, but none are insurmountable, we should have design contests in high schools and colleges-- put our kids to work. In the 50's us kids had hope, we thought we were part of the building of a great civilization, too bad we freaked out when we found we were destroying our planet and killing each other in war and became hippies. Then we thought if we stopped war and prejudice and everybody did their own thing, everything cool would be done. Boy were we stupid. the you generation became the me, became the X, and now the lost. Let's give our kids something to look forward to again.'

'-- JimScarver'

   Oh, and Jim, it's not that I don't think it's doable. I do. :-D I just don't agree with you about what the ride would be. Reality seems to have shown us that we'd get pretty much what we have now. Although I'm all for trying to improve it. --StarPilot

Private Cars... So, could companies that deliver would their own private cars, just like with trucks and cars, yah? FedEx and UPS, say? :D I wonder what the load limit would be, on average?

The only serious problem I see to the whole thing, is the basic network effect. To make this effective/worthwhile, we have to have it everywhere, but if it isn't everywhere, there isn't much of a point to it. Humm... So we'd need to start it off where the population density would make it immediately useful, and let it grow organically, yah? So... just how are 'WE' going to start it in NYC? --StarPilot

Right down route 80 and over (or under) the George Washington bridge  Or down route 3 to the passenger ferry, whichever is worse.  Funding is the immediate issue.  Synernomics isn't exactly main stream.  I just made it up :)


Personal tools