Autonomously driven, electrically powered vehicles have the potential to save lives, energy, time, and as a result reduce air pollution. A completely new, nationwide, mass transit system for self-driven, privately owned, electric cars on an elevated fixed guideway could be built for much less than high-speed rail. It combines the energy efficiency of mass transit with the convenience of a privately owned vehicle. This eco-friendly, on demand, nationwide, weatherproof, mass transit system, called Freedom Transit™ is the only mass transit system to provide door to door service in one vehicle. The high-speed (140 mph) nationwide mass transit system for individual electric vehicles could replace all other forms of land based and including short-hall air travel. A nationwide network of solar powered guideways generating 3.8 megawatts per mile could handle millions of autonomous driving electric vehicles hourly, and reduce US oil consumption and CO2 emissions by over 30%. Automated travel could all but eliminate the annual 30,000 plus US traffic fatalities.
The small footprint elevated guideway is only 45ft wide. The traffic handling capacity of each lane is equivalent to a 7 lane expressway. Stations control traffic in the station and guideway incoming traffic.
New York City to Washington DC example: Route 230 miles, proposal fare is $109.27 for: rental car, toll, and energy. Travel time is 1 hr 39 min. at a constant speed of 140 mph. To reduce energy costs platoons of 4 to 6 vehicles travel together at very close distances with the following vehicles drafting behind the one in front. Energy for the traveling group is shared equally reducing the cost per vehicle. These traveling groups are created on the fly and individual vehicles can exit the group at a station and a new vehicle can take its place all done without a change in speed.
Example Cost: The elevated guideway construction cost including stations every 10 miles is $7.8 billion. The solar installation cost $1.8 billion. The rental fleet of 36,000 vehicles will cost $1.4 billion. Total cost for 230 miles $11.billion.
Revenue is based on ridership. The current traffic load along the route is about 300,000 AADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic). If we estimate that 30% of that traffic was to use Freedom Transit for at least some of the distance (there are stations every ten miles) and all the current rail and air traffic between the cities used it, we get the equivalent of about 90,000 full length trips per day. This volume will generate $3.7 billion annually
The proposed mass transit system is so convenient, fast, safe, weatherproof, and low cost no one would choose another way causing other modes of travel to be discontinued. No buses, trains, high speed rail, or short hall air travel will exist once an integrated nationwide dual mode mass transit system is built. Dual mode electric (cars, light trucks, vans, SUVs) will replace all fuel based ones. A separate freight system based on this technology would replace rail and heavy truck hauling with electric freight vehicles.