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High Speed Micro Car / Micro Road Experiment

Pick a very congested city and build one of these systems in the median strip.
  [vote for,

An electric high speed micro roadway that accommodates very small, very lightweight electric cars that are automatically added and removed from the road by computer.

Standardized electric cars can be driven on streets but are only big enough for 2 people, basically an enclosed 4 wheel motorcycle. They get onto the track by lining up at a launch platform parallel to the main road, which is about 4 feet wide, and the linear drive system on the track kicks in, pushing it up to the flow of traffic speed at the appropriate moment of an available slot in the traffic flow.

So you'd drive your little scooter car drive to the nearest onramp / launcher, put in your offramp location, queue up and sit back. You're launched onto the main road at about 200 mph. When you get to your offramp you're slowed down and put onto your drive away location in a parking lot looking area. You then drive to your final location.

If this works for a few thousand cars, expand the system. Make the cars rentals so you don't have to invest in them other than on a per trip basis, that's a thing they're doing now anyway.

doctorremulac3, Feb 07 2023

The Roads Must Roll https://upload.wiki.../The_Roads_Must.jpg
Robert Heinlein. Amazing Science Fiction magazine, June, 1940 [a1, Feb 07 2023]

(?) CommuterCars commutercars.com
Your prototype vehicle is already available... [scad mientist, Feb 07 2023]

Commuter Cars http://commutercars.com/
(fixed link for scad_mientist) [a1, Feb 07 2023]

CommuterCars Tango https://en.wikipedi...Commuter_Cars_Tango
Company history - future does not look bright [a1, Feb 07 2023]


       What powers the wee cars along at 200mph? What happens when there is a crash?
pocmloc, Feb 07 2023

       That's a very, very, very, good question.   

       Okay, so the IDEA is that there's linear motors, every vehicle's speed, location, acceleration and deceleration is controlled centrally by computers. It basically turns all these individual vehicles into a high speed train moving the spaces between these little electric cars as appropriate for their status in the run.   

       In a crash everything is stopped with appropriate consideration of not killing everybody. Might even have an emergency trap door that drops a vehicle onto a second level where it's slowed down and stopped.   

       But theoretically you'd never have a crash because the system is untouched by humans, it's all controlled digitally.
doctorremulac3, Feb 07 2023

       // What powers the wee cars along at 200mph? //   

       Douglas-Martin solar panels. And the road itself rolls - like a moving walkway that you see at airports but very much larger - so the cars need little motive power of heir own. They're brought up to speed gradually as the outer sections of the road roll slower than the center. Your car speeds up or slows down by changing lanes.   

       // What happens when there is a crash? //   

       Mayhem, injuries, and death.   

a1, Feb 07 2023

       Are you familiar with CommuterCars? That might be a reasonable test platform. Two people per vehicle in a tandem configuration. 39" wide. See link. The web site hasn't changed in years, so I suspect they have stopped investing money in the idea, but still have it out there just in case. For what it's worth, I saw early prototypes of this on the drag strip at a NEDRA race. My take is that this was a valiant attempt to get EVs going before Tesla and Nissan mainstreamed EVs, but their concept hasn't yet found it's market, sufficient investment, or whatever. Getting a few of these built at 1/4 million $ each might be cheaper than prototyping from scratch.
scad mientist, Feb 07 2023

       Also, if you use the Tango for prototyping, you can probably skip the linear drive system for a while in initial non-insane speed testing. They go 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. Red line is 150mph for the single speed gearbox, but not actually tested.
scad mientist, Feb 07 2023

       Link didn't work for me scad, got another one? Said "not found"
doctorremulac3, Feb 07 2023

       Yup, that's it scad, exactly. I'd put a seat in back so it could carry two people but the size is perfect. Now it's electric, but the track powers it once it's put in place.   

       I was thinking of just having the motor in the units power them from the tracks but you wouldn't be able to get up to 300 miles per hour (I'm increasing the speed) because one car breaking down would screw the whole system.   

       Linear motors might be pretty expensive though so might just have to use the motor in the cars and reduce the speed. Add a safety mechanism for breakdowns.   

       Idea: They're wedge shaped so if one rear ends another the front one just rises up. Better than getting crunched. The front is a wedge, the back is a V shape that lets the wedge raise the car in front which might be configured to just raise up.   

       Having a standardized car you could incorporate things like that.
doctorremulac3, Feb 07 2023

       //you'd never have a crash because...it's all controlled digitally//   

Voice, Feb 08 2023

       ( (o) ) ( (o) )   




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