Individual Freedom / Community Advantage
This proposal is primarily about extending the range of your electric car!
System designed for Electric Vehicles that can travel on Rail AND... independently on Streets.
You may have seen CSX Maintenance trucks that ride on rails, as well as streets... this goes way beyond that!
Electric vehicles have limited range today, but this concept eliminates that problem COMPLETELY.
This system is extremely energy efficient.
The business model is patterned after the same successful strategies as Cell Phones and PC's & the Internet.
Electric... limited top speed for city driving and limited range depending on battery.
Same vehicle could go 70mph or more with Unlimited Range while “On-Board” rail.
Vehicle may be privately owned.
Computer assist navigation.
Hands-Free while on rail.
Self diagnostic system to validate “Rail Ready”. Rail won't allow non-ready vehicles.
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Opportunities for privately owned Taxi Systems & City Mass Transit.
Opportunity for automated, freight-only pods routed directly to retailers.
On the Rail:
System could use Linear Induction assist to propel vehicles.
Could recharge vehicle batteries while in transit.
Could capture braking energy and put it back into the system making it very efficient.
Rail would be elevated for safety.
Automated equipment could quickly build new, elevated rail... even thru remote terrain.
Automated equipment could patrol and maintain rail.
Additional rail would be built to the sides and overhead when needed.
I want to emphasize Linear Induction, and Inductive Coupling! You can already buy an inductive charger for your cell phone. You can see concepts for electric car inductive charging now... Nissan Wireless Charging Demonstrated (http://youtu.be/dvCkTGdZJx8?t=47s). You've seen Linear Induction motors propel MagLev Trains and some of the fastest roller coasters. This is all about using existing technology in a new way.
Electric cars today don't have much of a range... so it's a real niche market. But the U.S. Government and Nissan... among others, have made a sizable investment in electric vehicles. What if you could take away this handicap of limited range?
What's important is that we take transportation to the next level. It can be more efficient, more convenient, safer... fun. Imagine being able to hop in your pod, get on the rail and take a trip to Alaska, or Mexico City or anywhere else you want to go on the continent! Imagine not having to worry about Someone falling asleep at the wheel.
This could create a lot of jobs... a whole new facet to the economy. And it would be paid for out of the system being so much more efficient.
Individually owned vehicles are a very important part of the economics of this. The masses must have a vested interest in the system. It's like people owning PC's or Cell Phones. The governments part in this should be bare infrastructure. At some point... I would imagine, at least parts of the system would be leased out to companies that would run and maintain them like some of the tollways we have today.
Being mobile gives people a sense of freedom... and it's good for the economy.