Vehicle: Road: Highway
OmniRoad   (-1)  [vote for, against]

Roads at ground level must be laid out in more or less square grids. This requires us to drive at right angles to our intended direction of travel, and then wait at red lights for other cars also traveling at right angles to their intended directions. Gridlock is the result.
[kbecker] has proposed making all roads elevated. This is a great advance but such roads retain the legacy property of directionality. Suppose the elevated road was built instead as a continuous omnidirectional driving plane.
To use the system the car would be driven manually to an on-ramp, and then put onto automatic guidance. All cars would travel across the surface in straight lines to the off-ramp nearest their destination, with only slight changes of speed and direction as required to maintain separation. The effect will be to produce an infinite number of virtual roads, each perfect for the individual vehicle. Cars will drive at their highest capable speeds as this minimizes the number of cars on the plane at any time.
A communication link will be needed between each car and the central computer, but the cost will be offset by the elimination of all traffic signals and markings.
The surface needn’t be completely unbroken; discontinuities will be mapped into the software for tall buildings and for windows to let sunlight into the chasms below.
-- Fussass, Feb 12 2004

Boston's Big Dig
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

You propose a roof over entire cities? A single elevated road can screw up a whole neighborhood. This will screw up everything under it. Traffic would be light, though, because nobody would want to live in this town anymore.
-- oxen crossing, Feb 12 2004

You mean this isn't a remixed Beatles album ?
-- normzone, Feb 12 2004

If we attach propellors to the roof of the cars then we can take advantage of another dimension entirely. An interesting alternative would be helium zepellins for everyone. Would Air strips be elevated to allow the aero-planes to land or would they be phased out by the monumental success of the elevated onimroad-plane?
-- PainOCommonSense, Feb 12 2004

isn't the exact opposite of this being baked for the last 20 years or so in Boston to the tune of 30Bil or so? Thank you, Teddy, on behalf of all US Taxpayers.
-- theircompetitor, Feb 12 2004

As an alternative, the omniroad could be an omnitunnel - an enormous cavern underneath the entire city. The central computer would have to direct the cars around the cavern's roof supports, but that would be similar to how it derects them around tall buildings in the original idea.
-- Rubi, Feb 12 2004

Rubi -- that's what I was referring to, see link
-- theircompetitor, Feb 12 2004

This one big road sounds like one big demolition derby.
-- yabba do yabba dabba, Feb 12 2004

OmniRoad: "Drive all, serve all, pave the planet"
-- half, Feb 12 2004

An automated road surfass? And who's going to design the software? Windows?

Such a big fishbone, my fussy friend. (-)
-- k_sra, Feb 12 2004

// Roads at ground level must be laid out in more or less square grids. //

Why? Most European towns and cities are anything but square grids.
-- JKew, Feb 12 2004

European towns aren't square grids because they were designed before traffic was a consideration. That's why it's so painfull to drive in Europe.
-- SystemAdmin, Feb 12 2004

visit Coventry now thatis a city that has 1/2 the idea the carparks are on building roofs
-- engineer1, Feb 12 2004

PRT would be a thousand times simpler, and do the same job.
-- kinemojo, Sep 05 2005

random, halfbakery