[extropy-chat] Car of the (near) future
giogavir at yahoo.it
Thu May 26 17:07:12 UTC 2005
i am working on a n environment plannning project
caled terraforming planet earth.
part of it we mention future personal transportation
i am sending a draft .
comments and feedbacks are welcome
Personal transportation vehicle (PTV)
Car diffusion in recent times have created more
problems than benefits.
Originally the introduction of the car,
enthusiastically received by all societies and the
symbol of the beginning of its affluence allowing
unlimited mobility and personal freedom improving
Entire cities, especially in the USA with its suburban
society, were built around the car.
Commuting for work, schooling , using the car for
weekly shopping at commercial centers, for week end
and long distance vacations became the way of life for
the large majority of the population.
Car diffusion has reached saturation points in many
areas, in particular in North America, western Europe,
Japan and Korea with a diffusion rate of 1 car per 2
Using such standard we can see that there is still a
lot of room for increasing car diffusion especially in
those areas that are developing at fast rates such as
the former communist Europeans countries, India, China
and other South East Asian countries.
To reach saturation point for all the existing
population of 6 billion people we would require 3
billion cars against the existing 400 million.
Such numbers will only exponentially increase current
problems discussed later on.
In reality the car is part of a more complex system
involving roads, highways, bridges, tunnels,
refuelling, maintenance, insurance, first aid,
traffic, parking, tolls and others that have not keep
the same pace of progress that the car diffusion.
The increased car diffusion has lead to major problems
such as the high rate of accidents with its related
death and incapacity toll, extreme pollution that has
obliged many cities to impose traffic bans to reduce
the air composition to breathable conditions, waste of
precious non renewable resources like oil and gas,
their high costs for production and transportation
with additional pollution consequences, high costs for
the fuel itself, for the car acquisition, its
maintenance, insurance, tolls and other related items
connected to its utilization.
W have reached a paradoxically situation in societies
where fuel costs reached 6$ per gallon.
We need the car for going to work, but we are working
mostly to support the car itself.
We must break this vicious circle with an innovative
approach going back to the basics, especially
considering that the car is a mobility instrument that
cannot be eliminated but must be at the service of all
What is the purpose of the car?
To move a limited amount of people, from one location
Such function must be performed in the safest way,
without wasting unnecessary non renewable resources
(oil and gas) moving oversized and heavy vehicles,
avoiding traffic jams, at the lowest possible costs to
the user and to the community, without polluting the
environment in the process.
Such assumptions easily demonstrate that no car in the
market today satisfy all the above goals.
The most successful cars in history, the Ford T and
the Volswagen answered the first question essential
for the time of their introduction.
At the moment the car diffusion and people dependence
on it has changed completely such picture.
We need a completely new PTV that answer all goals in
an integrated and more complex transportation system.
Lets define the design goals for the new PTV:
the minimum size and minimum weight in accordance wit
-powered by clean energy from renewable sources
-completely non polluting
-low cost for acquisition and maintenance
-standardize vehicle structure for several body
-minimum power requirement
-modularity for cargo requirements
Having established such basic goal lets analyse the
In this proposal the PTV is composed of two parts.
-A structure, containing all mechanical systems, wheel
engines, batteries , fuel tanks, transmission and all
control parts for a total height not to exceed 20 cm.
The exterior part of such structure is composed of
nanoengineered choc absorbing material, rubber like,
that can absorb the deformation of a crash and return
to the original shape.
-The body which can be fitted in the structure and can
have any suitable shape and dimension compatible with
The above system can be introduced in several phases
in accordance with the technological levels of the
The first and immediate possibility is to introduce
such vehicles utilizing a hybrid type of propulsion
system and utilizing the existing refuelling network
system with necessary updates.
A more efficient electrical engine can take care of
The road system can be equipped with a power cable
that can send remotely by microwave or other means the
needed power to the sensor of the vehicle running in
Such system is similar to the existing trolley bus
equipment only without the trolley and with a wireless
Where there is no embedded cable the vehicle can
proceed with its own engine.
The PTV will run in a network of equipped roads with
mag lev propulsion system and automatic guidance,
giving a destination point part of the network.
Power will be assured by decentralized solar, wind or
other systems provided by the rod network utilizing
clean and renewable sources.
The needed power will be transmitted to the vehicle
through the mag lev system.
The proposed TransNet system is the best solution for
this type of vehicle and can incorporate other
collective or cargo transportation systems with the
same locally generated power concept.
--- Mike Lorrey <mlorrey at yahoo.com> ha scritto:
> --- spike <spike66 at comcast.net> wrote:
> > The biggest driver in this direction will not be
> reduced oil
> > coming out of the ground, but rather greatly
> increasing demand
> > for motor fuels from China and India. Those two
> outfits alone
> > have over 2e9 right feet, eager for a gas pedal
> under them, eager
> > for the freedom of mobility that we have enjoyed
> in the west.
> The idea of 2e9 right feet all making the morning
> commute does not lend
> itself to the phrase "freedom of mobility".
> > My notion is that driving will not change all that
> much in
> > the next 10 to 20 years, but that eventually we
> will do some
> > of that radical downsizing. It will not happen to
> a great extent
> > until we burn up all the easy oil, all the stuff
> that can be pumped
> > cheaply. Until all of that is gone, government
> efforts to curb
> > our thirst for oil is a waste of time.
> Geeze Spike, you are going over to the dark side.
> Silicon valley
> brownouts notwithstanding, for other reasons, Peak
> Oil is a shibboleth.
> > The sitch is not desperate however. I can imagine
> some plug-in
> > hybrids on very small frames, so that our
> one-seaters will run
> > partly on corn-derived alcohol and partly on the
> coal that the
> > local power plant burns. It won't be that bad,
> really. A bit
> > less comfortable, somewhat more dangerous and
> slower, but life
> > as we have known it will go on.
> Nah, I forsee pebble bed nuclear plants across the
> country being used
> to recharge metal hydride fuel tanks for fuel cell
> power plants, right
> before we figure out how to turn a metal hydride
> battery into a cold
> fusion power plant.
> Mike Lorrey
> Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
> "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of
> human freedom.
> It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of
> -William Pitt
> Blog: http://intlib.blogspot.com
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