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RE: MIT's radical proposal for an ultra-compact, foldable electric vehicle
A variation on this: create "rail lines" that can be used by a specially built car which can also operate over city streets. The so-called rail line provides electrical power to the car when it is on the line. When the car reaches a station of sorts it drops off and travels around the city on battery. The batteries now available can supply enough power for the short trips around town. The driver drives from home on the battery to a station, enters onto the rail line, travels to the station nearest his destination and drops off, and uses the car for the short travel to his destination. The battery can be charged on the rail line. The rail line would cost far less to build than an expressway and take a fraction of the land. And, the rail lines need not be confined to commuters but could extend to distant cities. Cars could be built that could provide sleeping accommodations for long trips and the driver could sleep over long distances; New York to Chicago, sleeping most of the way or working on some paperwork, viewing the scenery, or whatever with a computer system alerting the driver when he nears his drop-off point.. The total cost to build such rail lines would be a fraction of the cost of expressways, as noted before, and the maintenance costs would likewise be a fraction of expressway maintenance cost. Two rail lines could fit into the mall between lanes of most existing expressways. Nearly all the technology for this already exists.
Posted by danarid@...
27th Sep 2010