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Transportation is a key barrier to cultural
awareness and to trade. Many people
an incorrect view of a particular culture's
lifestyle because they have not and often
cannot go there. For example, I have a
stereotyped view of the aboriginal culture
and it is not economically viable
arrange transportation to australia to find
out what it's really like. Small companies
are forced to pay monopolistic world-
shipping corporations to extend their
businesses overseas. And every day
hundreds die in car accidents.
Enter the worldwide monorail pod public
transportation system, which replaces
trains, cars, and planes.
Basically there is
nested infrastructure of local and long
distance monorail tunnels at which small
pods travel at high speeds. In urban
there would be "pod entrances" every two
blocks or so, with the pods operating
underground. There would be a "call"
button on the street corner and within
seconds of pressing it an empty pod
would ride a track up onto the street and
the doors would open. Pods would hold
to four people comfortably. Once inside
the pod you would dictate or type in your
destination, and the pod's computer
automatically determine the best route
and you would merge with the main
(running under each avenue) and within a
few minutes would emerge at your
destination. Or perhaps if you were in the
middle of New York city and wanted to
to london, the pod would take you first
the nearest international pod hub, where
you would wait in line to enter an airlock
to a vacuum tunnel which passes under
the atlantic ocean. Because there would
no air resistance, you would be able to
acheive high speeds of up to 2000mph,
enabling travel to london from new york
1.5 hours. In fact, you could travel
around the world in five hours. Cutoms
the arrival station would take place as
do now, and upon entering the country
you would enter a new local pod which
would allow you to travel anywhere
the united kingdom. There would be
several stopping points at pertinent
locations in the vacuum tunnels to
the failure rate of the entire tunnel, and
allow you to make a stop in hawaii
between chicago and Japan to uh, rest
There would be protocols in
place for police and rescue pods which
would have priority over civilian travel
pods. Each tunnel, whether it is local or
long distance, has two rails, one for full
speed and one for accelleration/
deceleration. This is to prevent
so that a pod only need to slow down if it
need to exit a tunnel.
This would eliminate the need for
commercial aircraft, eliminate the need
cars in urban or suburban areas, and
eliminate the need for trains because
these are trains of a sort. Freight
companies would have their own pod
entrances and their own specialy pods
which would be larger and designed for
transportation of non-living materials,
they could travel on the same tracks
without issue. And the term "long
relationship" would be all but abated.
Also, the streets of cities would no longer
be used for cars and would instead be
replaced with open lawns and
marketplaces where people could lie in
sun and play frisbee or paint. Because it's
all-electric it solves dependence of fossil
fuels as the rails could be powered by
energy source including wind, solar,
hyrdo, and wave power, which eliminates
the need for superconduceters as all
energy could be produced on-site and
would charge backup cells in the event
that power generation fails or becomes
intermittent. It also therefore eliminates
the need for dependence on foreign
energy sources, and each country would
power it's own system of tracks, although
they would all be interoperable and run
the same software.
This also helps the economy because it
creates jobs as the tracks will need to be
maintained, repaired, built, upgraded,
tested, etc. It also encourages
international business and trade between
nations, and empowers small businesses
to take their products to a global level.
As part of a global initiative, this system
would be free to all and paid for by taxes
(the same ones that we pay currently for
roads and highways here in the US) and
supplemented by advertising and media
services within the pod (that is to say, if
you want to watch a movie you will see
advertisements and then swipe your card
and pay a few bucks for a flick or to
tv or to access the net, but you have to
option of having the multimedia center
Issues are that it's hard to not imagine
having a car, but once the system
becomes established at the public level,
then it may be possible to own your own
pod and to have a track extension
directy to your own home. It's also
conceivable that people can adjust to it
with gradual implementation, and the
generation will have no quips about it
having not grown up under the
expectation that they are supposed to
drive, much less knowing what a car is.
See the attached graphic for a macro-
visualisation of the high speed long
distance tunnels. Imagine more and more
branches at the local levels coming off of
these main lines.
To address cost, do consider that this is
a WORLDWIDE initiative for the
betterhood of mankind, not a business
idea or simple fix that is overthought. It
is designed to completely change the
world, and as such yes, there will be a
rather sizeable startup cost. But when
you consider this cost will be shared by
the countries of the world, over a long
period of time (as this will be a
continuously evolving system), it should
be able to be jumpstarted by a nominal
investment and sustained by taxes we
currently pay for roads and highways. As
more and more roads, tracks, and
freeways became obsolete, more of the
tax dollars would be diverted. And try to
think forward here. This is a solution to
save the world, not just to improve it.
what the long distance routes may look like [innoventor, Apr 30 2006]
concept of vacuum tunnels for high-speed transportation [innoventor, Apr 30 2006]
minority report lexus
a concept for a personal "pod" as seen in the film "minority report" [innoventor, Apr 30 2006]
||(Summary for those with more sense than time: A rabbit warren of tunnels is drilled around the world, with outlets on every intersection of every city. People travel in little pods which use electricity to do the small stuff, then connect to vacuum-filled artery tunnels for the long-haul).
||Well, as you've pointed out, the concept of vacuum tunnels isn't new. The concept of personal transport 'pods' is yawningly familiar (they're trialing an automated system outside Cardiff at the moment, if I recall). The infrastructure you describe would be MIND-BOGGLINGLY expensive.
||In short this is well-meaning but unoriginal and ludicrously, laughably expensive. With this much money we could set up a theatre workshop group on Mars. By next Wednesday.
||And I didn't laugh once. A big fat dumb bone.
||And why would I replace my custom purple stretch hmmv with the 100% endangered or extinct animal leather interior? Will this let me get more sex partners?
||Oh what a bunch of skeptics you are. It's
ok, I will just bar you from the pod system
when it's in place by blocking your RFID
||Hmm... how long did the Channel Tunnel take, and how much did it cost? Now scale it up by a factor of a couple of hundred, and we can cross the Atlantic.
||You drive your electric battery car from your garage to a commuter station and you drive onto the "rails" via an interlock device on the bottom of your car, log in your destination address, and a Yahoo computer program delivers you to your destination, rerouting as needed. Because you still have your vehicle, you can then load your groceries for example. Your battery is recharged everytime you ride the rails.
||Are you summarizing, [AH], or proposing an alternative?
||Refining-Americans aren't ready for mass pods-the railway network is in place and would be less expensive to modify/modernize. Your vehicle can enter and leave the system closer to destination with a full battery charge to take you the short distance from each hub and you have the full security of your own vehicle and are not riding in pods with other anonymous predators.
||As [Moomintroll] stated, this is well-intentioned, but the cost involved would be beyond astronomical.
||What a bunch of skeptics we are? You'll just bar us from using the system? I got a similar response a few years back from some whacko with a perpetual-motion antigravity flying machine "in development" when I questioned his blatantly flawed methods.
||Feel free to have your ideas, but don't be surprised when people poke holes in it. It's your job to plug those holes and make the idea workable again.
||agreed freefall, I was just attempting to
be funny. I acknowledge that this is
expensive and that there are issues, and
I'm glad there is discussion about it.
Fuel cell vehicles are not practical or
sustainable and the population growth
and congestion in cities is increasingly
making the car as we know it a burden
||AH, I like the idea about being able to
drive onto the tracks with an electric
car...it solves a lot of issues! There can
be fewer tunnels (the current subways
can be converted) as people will have
their own cars for driving from point-
to-point, and the removal of long
distance capabilties from electric cars
enables them to be viable with current
technology. Good thinking.
||And with regard to cost, if the Average
American shells out $400/year on
average for plane tickets alone, and
$2600 per year on gasoline, well that's
600 Billion dollars per year that would
become available and stimulate the
economy or to be taxed to built these
systems. And also, these will be built
slowly as an ever-growing system, not
one huge simultaneous project. As the
demand increases, as will the supply.
||Thanks everyone for your comments,