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Laser Trains

No, Not to Pulverize Obstacles, To Measure Distance To Them
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The same kind of laser radar that can be used to very accurately measure topographical layouts can be used to shoot out of the head of a in-motion train to scan within line of site for any obstacles on the track and engage brakes or take otherwise appropriate action

In all likelehood the laser would not even need to be all that powerful and could be a cheap addition to all trains.

Of course other, more powerful means of detection could be used as well, upto and including interface to satellites (if they can see a license plate from space, perhaps they can see a car on the tracks?) that are not subject to line of site limitations.

But the laser method seems simple and straightforward

theircompetitor, Jan 28 2005

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       LIDAR? What do you consider cheap?
tiromancer, Jan 28 2005
  

       well, my FX45 has dynamically adjusting cruise control based on recognizing the car in front. So I think the cost is certainly within reach of train companies
theircompetitor, Jan 28 2005
  

       //dynamically adjusting cruise control based on recognizing the car in front// Recognising? Don't you mean "detecting"?
Or does it go "Uh-oh...Ferrarri, don't bother keeping up"?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jan 28 2005
  

       Allright, SmartAbs, detecting.   

       And the FX45 has 315 HP, haven't had a problem keeping up with anyone :)
theircompetitor, Jan 28 2005
  
      
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