The future of automated/autonomous freight delivery and personal transportation is neither a delivery truck nor a car, the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) initiative main flaw is assuming it will!
Why is anyone trying to figure out how to make a truck and a car drive themselves after they are designed and built to be driven? I suppose the reason is that we already have the vehicles and the roads; but, has anyone considered developing and implementing a fully automated/autonomous freight delivery and personal transportation system using vehicles no one has to drive from the start? I did and submitted a U.S. Patent Application for it.
No other transportation system in use today can claim driverless door-to-door freight delivery but my proposal does. Same thing for personal transportation even if it is to a building floor several stories from the ground or from one building to another at any height. No need to go to a station then wait in line to get a PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) pod car that only takes you to another station. Vehicles are privately owned and passengers are expected to ride with the same comforts and amenities of a modern automobile. Once the vehicles start moving there's no need for them to stop until they reach their destination. When passengers leave their vehicles these can be sent anywhere on their own to pickup and transport other passengers or to a designated parking space then these can later be recalled using a cell phone. Is there a personal transportation system with vehicles that can travel bumper-to-bumper touching each other at a uniform constant speed during rush hour for optimal performance of the system? My proposal has them and when they do the system resembles a canning or a bottling line in full operation.
The proposed transportation system consists of vehicles that move on steel rails on their own propulsion using electric motors. Prior proposals that resemble features of my proposal are not a practical proposition for a fully automated freight delivery and personal transportation system, their main drawback being the vehicles guideway configuration. In my proposal there are no crossings along the tracks path and there's no need for track switches to route vehicles to its destination as each vehicle has a steering mechanism. Location markers and electronic signals in the tracks along with sensors in the vehicles allow a computer on board each vehicle to use navigation software to determine the exact position of the vehicle at any time and program the fastest way to a destination. The information is relayed to computers at a master control that identifies each vehicle then handles and monitors vehicular flow along the tracks networks or trackways. As each vehicle get their power from the tracks assembly there's no need to recharge them. A power meter and a relay device in each vehicle communicating with a processing center allows for automatic electronic transactions so that each vehicle owner can be charged to their account for power consumption, tolls and vehicle registration.
Considering that the proposed transportation system should have a significant influence in our daily lives and will allow for innovative changes in the architecture and design of our cities it is reasonable to expect that the implementation of a transportation system such as the one I envision could transform our way of life and the urban landscape in the XXI Century as the automobile did in the XX Century. Are you in?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The advantages and benefits of the proposed transportation system are: 1-Is easy to build, setup and operate as a fully automated transportation system using conventional automation methods and equipment. 2-Is a reliable, safe and efficient alternative to a car and a freight delivery truck that can really reduce traffic accidents and save lives. 3-Allows people to go anywhere the tracks will take them using their own fully automated/autonomous vehicle no one has to drive. 4-Is a reliable, safe and efficient alternative to a delivery truck using fully automated/autonomous vehicles no one has to drive to deliver all sorts of goods and merchandise anywhere along the tracks. 5-Can transport a single passenger more efficiently than a car does as the passengers modules can be shaped ergonomically to transport only one passenger. 6-Can transport freight more efficiently than a delivery truck does as the freight modules and detachable cargo containers can be shaped in any form and size. 7-Uses less land than streets, highways and freeways construction does. 8-Adapts easily to the existing urban outline. 9-Contributes less environmental pollution than cars and trucks do. 10-May help reduce oil dependence as the vehicles move using electric motors. 11-Allows children, older people and people with disabilities to provide their own personal transportation since no driving skills are needed to operate such vehicles. 12-Allows passengers to carry out other activities while they go from one place to another since there’s no need to drive such vehicles. 13-Have the least moving parts subject to wear and tear and most components are easily accessible for proper maintenance and repairs. 14-Allows vehicles to travel over obstacles including cars and pedestrians. 15-Allows vehicles to travel inside a building and into an office space or a living space several stories above ground. 16-Allows vehicles to travel from one building to another at any height from the ground. 17-Enables a more comfortable ride for passengers than a car does in curved and inclined path stretches.