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The future of the automotive industry and transport in the us?

  1. Jul 16, 2012 #1
    The future of the automotive industry and transport in the us???

    Why will Americans never fully take to rail? Because we are adventurers by nature. The people that came to this Country had adventure in their blood. We like our cars, and we like em big and fast. So then I tell you Rail is the future?

    What? Electromagnetic rail that supersedes the interstate system at first, and will then eventually spread to every street in the 'grid'. The 'Grid' will be the Global positioning system that monitors all traffic in the grid. High speed rail that individual cars fit onto to. Cars will be hybrids able to change between wheels and rails. I can envision hydraulic jacks supporting the vehicle while the tires protrude and wrap around the bottoms of the track. Electromagnetic so you float on a cushion of air. Doesn't get any smoother ride than that. Safer than a conventional vehicle in that head on collisions could be virtually eliminated. An onboard tracking system (360 degree autodrive), as well as a global positioning system that can take over if the primary system (autodrive) fails. Also the occupant’s vehicles in close proximity will also react defensively thus virtually eliminating accidents. High speed at potentially 200 mph. Driver relinquishes control of his/her vehicle when he agrees to enter the grid. Where there's a market $$ there's a way! At first there will be pay toll roads with sections between cities, which will eventually span the grid with further progress, population growth, congestion, and need for faster delivery of goods and services as well as safe transport for the masses. Double decker roads with the 'railroad' so to speak on top. Rails built down into the road. Never thought people would take a roller coaster to work at 200 mph? Just be careful of the G's!! All free transport with respect to fuel, (Hopefully by then we could run the rail on clean energy (fusion) funded by toll roads and perhaps tax payers for public roads.

    Limitations... Infrastructure, automotive industry conversion, giving up certain 'road freedoms' for safer/faster driving. No stress, hands free autodrive.

    Contrary to Hollywood we will NOT have flying cars or anything of the sort for common transport of the masses anytime in the next 100 years. Sorry. Can you imagine the disaster? Not good.
    Thoughts.....
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2012 #2
    Re: The future of the automotive industry and transport in the us???

    Well, thr first very obvious objection is the need for the two propulsion systems on board - for wheels/road and for the rail. Half of them is unused at any given time but needs to be lugged around. That means extra weight & fuel. ... and size which kinda contradicts the original idea of trying to reduce congestion.

    Plus the haudrolics you mention. Presumably large and powerful enough to handle your large and powerful car. Well, extra (mostly) dead weight you have to lug around.

    Don't forget the extra mechanics needed to switch from one to the other. Servicing all 3 (or is it 4 now?) systems.

    So...did I hear you mention $$? And we haven't even started on the infrastructure yet.
     
  4. Aug 1, 2012 #3
    Re: The future of the automotive industry and transport in the us???

    I could see high speed trains that moved cars as a potential transport alternative in the future? A high speed train that people could drive their cars onto locked into place and transported at high speed to the destination.

    Does anyone know the weight/load capacity of high speed trains (electromagnetic) with regards to if it could actually carry a 'load' of cars/trucks and maintain a reasonable speed say greater than 200 kph (124 mph)?
     
  5. Aug 6, 2012 #4
    Re: The future of the automotive industry and transport in the us???

    I could maybe see high speed freight transportation as a successor to long distance highway travel, sort of like a high speed boat ferry... but without the boat and the water. But for small distances, is it really practical for high-speed above-ground traffic with the possibility of pedestrians somehow falling onto the tracks?
     
  6. Aug 6, 2012 #5

    turbo

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    Re: The future of the automotive industry and transport in the us???

    The US may never go to better rail coverage. I shouldn't say "never", but the deck is stacked against us. It would be fantastic to have a more expansive net of rail lines and hubs, but much of the US is rural, and passenger rail isn't looking too profitable.
     
  7. Aug 6, 2012 #6

    phinds

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    Re: The future of the automotive industry and transport in the us???

    This is economically nonsensical and will never happen. Well, OK, I agree w/ turbo that "never" is a dangerous word. Let's say it's extraordinarily unlikely to ever happen, although some kind of mass transit, much better than what we have not, is likely in the fairly distant future.
     
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