Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Voltron Carpoolers

Interlockable vehicles for grouped commuting
  [vote for,

A long commute lay ahead and the sparse traffic on I-95 made for a lonely drive. As a master-driver, however, I would not be lonely for long.

Being a master-driver is a big responsibility; one that I take seriously. I had worked very hard for the title. On my 30th birthday, when I became eligible, I applied for the master-driver’s license, and after an extensive review of my driving record, I was offered the master-drivers training course. I passed the course with high marks and upgraded my dockable soon after.

Although it had been years since, I can still remember the thrill of my first dock, and the excitement of piloting my first cluster. Now, these things bordered on tedious, but the memories of them having, at one time, been exhilarating kept me from activating a continuous general dock denial beacon.

I could see a purple dockable approaching from the rear. I knew it was Judy before her dock request was displayed, and her speed indicated that she had been running behind today. I accepted her dock request and assigned her the position to my immediate right.

She glided up to my right side and matched speeds. I rotated my right-side docking pintles and moved in. As usual, Judy’s strict adherence to protocol made docking a breeze. Once the mechanical dock was established I initiated the electrical dock. I was now piloting both vehicles, and Judy was finishing her make-up.

The commute continued, and the cluster grew.

I glanced occasionally at the commuters within the cluster. Some napped, some read. One couple, in a burgundy dockable in the rear of the cluster, was arguing about something that had occurred last night.

They enjoyed the passive nature of the commute.

I envied their enjoyment.

Since my exit was but a few miles down the road, I transferred control to one of the other master-drivers we had picked up on the way, and disengaged from the cluster.

The idea:

Miniature Volkswagen van-like vehicles with docking receptacles on the front, back and both sides. As they travel in a docked cluster, one driver pilots all vehicles in the cluster. Traveling in such a formation would save fuel and reduce emissions and road congestion.

MikeD, May 13 2010

Go Voltron Force! http://www.youtube....watch?v=tZZv5Z2Iz_s
[Jinbish, May 14 2010]

Dai-X (Star Fleet) http://www.youtube....watch?v=77KTTDiTRvs
Multiple vehicles must combine to become a *Robot*!! It's the rules. [Jinbish, May 14 2010]

Devastator (Transformers) http://www.youtube....watch?v=B9uyk_jJ6Ns
See! [Jinbish, May 14 2010]

Bike_20Train A similar idea, but for velocipedes. [swimswim, May 14 2010]

Conga_20Line_20Unicycle A similar idea, but for unicycles [FlyingToaster, May 14 2010]


       That, [21], was my main concern with this idea. It has been rolling around in my head for a few weeks now, and a moderately thorough search didn't produce any prior art/bakededness so I went for it.
MikeD, May 13 2010

       No, these would be of such size that three should fit side-by-side and take up the same amount of road as a semi-truck.   

       I was thinking of something like four single seats one behind the other, in a mini-volkswagen van kind of looking vehicle.
MikeD, May 13 2010

       While I'm not one to give up control of my vehicle to anybody for any reason, I have to give this a bun for the prose.
In No Particular Order, May 14 2010

       //Like motorcycle width, almost.//   

       Yeah. I have a pretty wide car (caprice) that can hold three to a bench seat. I figured if the majority of the drive train, and the docking mechanisms were all under the passenger compartment, the low center of gravity would keep it stabile enough.   

       //bun for the prose//   

MikeD, May 14 2010


       Sorry - where's the giant robot?
{Bun with-held until the role of Beast King GoLion becomes clear... only kidding.}
Jinbish, May 14 2010

       //Judy’s strict adherence to protocol made docking a breeze.//   

       Docking? You sure there's not a better word for that??   

       Ummm... yes, this is a very generic type of idea. I'm not playing the MFD card here, just saying that it's not far from human powered gyms and the like.
daseva, May 14 2010

       [+] for legible prose, as well as "docking panties" which isn't what you wrote, but what I read nonetheless.   

       You're not going to get 3 rows as well as columns though: the guy(s) in the middle wanting to leave means having to revert control to the original drivers during the maneuver.
FlyingToaster, May 14 2010


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