Monday, October 11, 2010

Auto Cars

I had this idea for twenty years but Google beats me to testing it.

The car carrying capacity of any road is simple: unlimited.

To take more cars, just increase the speed of cars.  The real limit is parking.  Sooner or later cars have to stop.  So the trick is to find a way for cars to slow down gradually to a a parking spot.

Hence, we should just increase the speed limit to give everyone a smooth ride.  Every car will know where every other car is and is going.  All cars can zoom past each other at traffic junctions with no need for traffic lights.  The faster you zoom past each other, the more people can have cars and use them.  Of course all cars will be driverless, like what Google is trying to do.

In my vision of things, nobody owns cars anymore.  To go anywhere, just punch a button on your mobile phone.  In a minute or so, a driverless car will come to your exact spot.  Hop on, and the car will pick up speed and join the main traffic.  If your destination is 10 miles away , you should reach there in much lesser than 10 minutes, irrespective of the traffic volume!

After you alight, your car will stop where it is and wait for the next request.  In version 2, the car will move to the next best spot based on predictive demand forecasting.

The amount of fuel consumed per passenger for such a journey will be a small fraction of what you can get today on a mass transport system like the bus.  Remember Newton's first law, and second law?  Fuel is needed only on the initial pick up and, after that, only for overcoming traction and air resistance.

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