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Personal Rapid Transit with short range ultralight cars
  [vote for,

Call for your thoughts and drawings for various parts of this idea and how to get it going.

See details below. First the specs:

* 8 minutes between any two points in the city.
* 20 minutes at most between any two locations of a metropolis.
* 300 km in 1.5 hours including a 15 minute forced stop at a developing city on the way.
* Quiet, safe, comfortable, efficient and useful.
* Drive your own or rented ultralightway electric car or enter one of the public ultralightway automated taxis, from door to door. Get your batteries charged on the way. And send your car to a different station without you (no cargo allowed) * Or ride your bicycle into the ultralightway bike-pod for a fast boost getting you close to where you need.

* Uses existing atmospheric roller coaster technology along with simple electric drive (DC so no danger).
* Automatic maintenance, low traffic density, and high safety standards allow for less life loss and injuries (some roller coasters have over 100 years with no-one killed or injured on them).
* Oh and its eco friendly: No running over wildlife, no ecological barriers, no noise, no smoke, rubber tire, or light pollution.


A "dual mode" PRT system, where any approved ultralight and small car, with an authenticated driver, and authorized baggage, is rapidly loaded onto the railway, driven on a loop to the station and taken off at the correct exit. The loop is actually a "self healing" network, with safety devices for rapidly correcting any type of problem, including track unloading and emergency escape paths.

PRT is a known concept. There are pros and cons. The point is that although it should be a low cost project, still, making a first viable and running system is a formidable investment, and the bottom line is that until a real large grid is built it isn't worth the effort.

The problem that PRT is supposed to solve is this: You want to get SAFELY and quickly from any point to any point. Quickly does not only mean going fast. It also means not waiting long, and getting close to your target without having to change vehicles or walk. The movie 'Minority Report' and others show the vehicles reaching all the way into the living room of an apartment in a tall building. So the question is:

How can we get there, without a total revolution of the road system.

Answer: Ultralightway - The point about this system is that MOST of the cost of cars and their personalization will come from private investment. The shorter the range off the rail, the smaller the investment is needed. When you want you can upgrade to an authorized and authenticated stronger motor, batteries along with a better external road-safety package.

So we aren't fighting the roadway. We are only reducing the heavy and large car traffic between cities, eliminating the 15-20 minute rides, and reducing the number of drivers on 1 or 2 hour rides by offering them a 20 minute long distance ride.

You won't be locked to a single manufacturer, but the manufacturers will need to abide certain standards pertaining to the safety, security, speed, size shape and weight of their cars.


The technology for each part is available.
Ask away for details, and I'll add them here.

The following are some of the systems I can elaborate about:

a. Loading and unloading
b. Inner city speeds and accelerations
c. Autonomous (self-healing) network system
d. Suspension
e. Propulsion
f. Railway, forces and looks
g. Safety
h. Security
i. The rapid (roller coaster tech) long distance system
j. The bicycle pod

Financing: I hope very soon to wrap up a specific configuration based on this idea, due to recent changes we may have the funding and political push to make this come true...

pashute, Feb 23 2011

Shweeb http://www.youtube....watch?v=VXl3uK9hTWU
nuf said [pashute, Feb 23 2011]

The Cree electric car http://www.cree.ch
Make it short range - and it will cost less. [pashute, Feb 23 2011]

The wire road http://www.youtube....gaw&feature=related
not much needed for an ultralight rail [pashute, Feb 23 2011]

The old PRT paradigm, specific rail-cars, set speeds, stationary stations http://www.youtube....watch?v=keCwKy_m9zc
Unlike the ULTRA or Skytran (who will be involved if we "go" for it) you drive to and from the Ultralightway [pashute, Feb 23 2011]

Another ultralight car http://www.youtube....watch?v=CMEpAHjHwts
The Renault Twizzy [pashute, Feb 23 2011, last modified Feb 24 2011]

Ultralightway http://www.wix.com/pashute/retzef
Preparation for the concept site [pashute, Feb 23 2011]

JPods - dual mode, but suspended is problamatic and open elevators are scary http://www.jpods.com/
Ultralightway uses a simpler conveyor belt technology for loading and exiting [pashute, Feb 23 2011]


       8 minutes between any point? How big is the city? Is this using a hub-and-spoke arrangement, or are you planning to run a web of rails from everywhere and to everywhere?   

       240 kph average on long-haul, and you expect personal-sized vehicles to be efficient at this speed? Trains gain much of their efficiency by being a long, skinny thing with a relatively small frontal cross-section. Any personal vehicle will be short and fat in comparison, and will not be efficient at 240 kph.   

       There are roller-coasters which have been in service for 100 years without injury or death because these roller coasters are inspected inch-by-inch every single day. To do the same to a wide network of rails would add prohibitive cost. Hopefully, the system would incorporate some sort of built-in health monitoring.   

       There have been proposals for certain Jetson-esque pod-transports, which almost universally gain efficiency by way of automated speed control and organization of pod trains.   

       Regarding personal ultralight cars; I've seen them, and I don't like them. Unless I'm living in a city where the rental of a parking spot costs more than the mortgage on my condo, they're less than worthless to me. If I'm looking for fuel efficiency, I'll get a larger, sleeker hybrid (prius or civic) with the ability to carry more than one passenger and more than one bag of groceries.   

       Frankly, I don't see anything new in your idea that hasn't already been covered in the proposals you've linked already.
Freefall, Feb 23 2011

       My system is dual mode. Cars are driven up to main rail by belt conveyor, while being authenticated and authorized. Target is known before you get onto rail.   

       So it's the main road congestion I'm overcoming. The small inner city roads usually don't have these traffic jams, and the small cars allow for parking. You'll get yourself a Prius, but for driving to work and back you'll also get yourself a $2500 short range electric city car (toy). Or rent it for the price of a bus ticket. And if you have the money, you'll get one that is super comfortable or that shows off somehow (or maybe you'll leave that to the Prius).   

       The rapid long distance railway will be efficient. Since its in a relatively closed tube, and since most of the way the cars are very near each other, with a "safety car" connection between them, aerodynamics will not be a very large factor. To the contrary, efficiency is also due to how much dead weight is carried on the rail. And here we have a definite winner.   

       Automated maintenance and maintenance- management is being perfected rapidly in the past 15 years. One part of the authorization for cars as well as rail sections, will be their passing automatic tests periodically. We could go into details here, but I leave it to your imagination.   

       I never said anything about 1 person only. The cars can be planned to carry 4 and even 10 people. But only 2 can be seated one next to the other. (as can be seen in the ULTRA). Most people will opt for the low cost singe or dual person car. For the "public cars" they will be single passenger cars. Reminder: I'm not replacing the roads, nor cars or busses.   

       New innovations here: a. New safety and security systems (not explicitly discussed yet, but noted). b. Using any electric car that complies to specs. Open to competition. (That is the most important point of this idea). c. Rapid entry and exit points for these regular cars. d. A bicycle pod. e. (forgot to write and explain): a wheelchair trike EV that runs on this rail. f. NOT fast going and still rapid. g. High speed only for long distance, then enters city network.   

       I think I addressed each of your points. Correct? Did I leave anything out?   


       Bicycle car is also a new concept.
pashute, Feb 23 2011


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