ceealums




Member


1 | share

This is the type of proposal that Shell and the Koch Brothers could fund through the Automotive Lab. 


eph




Member


2 | share
Proposal
creator

Possibly, though High-Speed Podcars share many desirable characteristics with cars, they reduce oil use, being electric and don't use roads because they run on their own infrastructure.


jpods




Member


3 | share

You are correct on how PodCar networks (Personal Rapid Transit, PRT) will cut energy requirements dramatically. Freight railroads average 476 ton-miles per gallon. PodCar networks will approach that traveling efficiency in cities. The PRT network built in Morgantown, WV as a  solution to the 1973 Oil Embargo has delivered 110 million oil-free, injury-free passenger miles.


vpdrive




Member


4 | share

Any solution has to be economically viable...  Looking back to a 1973 'solution' that wasn't universally adopted is an indication that there is something wrong with the concept.


eph




Member


5 | share
Proposal
creator

Yes, a transportation must be economically viable.  This proposal differs from most (not sure which 43 year old 'solution' you are referring to) in that it is high capacity which means that up to an order of magnitude more vehicles can utilize the same guideway with proportionally a fraction of the capital cost.  Operating expenses are also reduced due to low rolling resistance steel wheels on steel rail and by sizing the vehicle to the requirement with 1 or 2 person pods running on top of the rail and up to 4 person pods running on the bottom.  This reduces weight moved and aerodynamic drag.

I have a spreadsheet which shows profitability even including capital amortization.  Most transit systems operate at lost attempting to cover operating and maintenance cost only.  Talk about old 'solutions'.

 


eph




Member


6 | share
Proposal
creator

EDIT: transportation system must...

My first message was eaten by the system, so this a rewrite...

 


stevieleonardharison




Catalyst


7 | share

It's interesting idea... is it to be applied in the US only or can be too in another countries?

Thanks.


eph




Member


8 | share
Proposal
creator

It was design with North America in mind, but of course, there are no restrictions to country, just the right conditions.

It makes most sense start Lofty Taxi where there is no high-speed rail.  Did you have a specific country in mind?  I'd be interested to see the possibilities, message me if you prefer.


jharti




Fellow


9 | share

Hi Francois, 

A belated thank you for submitting this proposal! It is certainly interesting and I appreciate the effort that you have put into it. Off the top it seems that you have a fair bit of additional information on the http://loftytaxi.com/ site. If you feel that any of these information would provide useful context for your proposal I would encourage you to add it, as content from external links will not be taking into account during the judging of your proposal. In terms of the potential 'impact' of this proposal, I see that some work has been done to estimate GHG emissions reductions (which is great), but has work also been done on the emissions associated with the build-out of infrastructure required for your system to operate? 

I feel that the proposal would also benefit from more details being added to the 'What actions do you propose?', 'WHo will take these actions?' and 'Where will these actions be taken?' sections. A references that you could add which refer to/help validate the background concepts or your specific solution would also be useful.

Jeff

 


 


eph




Member


10 | share
Proposal
creator

Hi Jeff,

I added a few references and some info for GHG emissions for construction.  I don't have a lot of time to spend on this right now unfortunately.  Will get back to it later.


paragguptaphd




Catalyst


11 | share

Hello!  I'm Parag Gupta, an MIT Climate CoLab Catalyst.  Wow!  This seems like an interesting idea and one that has come across the Climate CoLab desk before in some way.  I applaud you for thinking about its feasibility again.  I don't think that anyone will deny that self-driving cars will see a niche in the transportation sector in the next few years.  However, what this system proposes and what serves as its main hurdle is the infrastructure demand in terms of needing its own platform on which to run.  Have you done any literature reviews on prior investigations by the Department of Transportation?  I believe something like this was considered a few decades ago (absent of the self-driving feature).  I think another element of the proposal that is needed is a more complete feasibility study on the economics and the bureaucracy behind it.  Even if you have an economically feasible plan, is the government and/or private sector going to pose any challenges for you in implementation?  That last point may be beyond your scope, but the absolute best proposal regarding this work will consider some of its serious challenges beyond the technology.


eph




Member


12 | share
Proposal
creator

Hi Parag,

Lofty Taxi is similar, but still different than what has been proposed in the past.  I'm not sure to which DOT investigations you are referring to, some links would be helpful.  As far as I know, this hasn't been proposed before.

Economics of it: Capital investment to build a test system, usually around $10 million USD matched by the government for a minimal effort and lots more for an accelerated timeline.  Then you have what amounts to a car, bus or train business.  The next step is investors for installations which need to partner with land owners (usually government) for access to rights of way.  Various scenarios can work, variations on design-build-operate.

BTW, this proposal still comes up under "MIT Alumni" even though I've been asked to move it to transportation.  Are there crossed wires somewhere?  I thought the transportation judging wasn't for another month or more...


eph




Member


13 | share
Proposal
creator

"The Climate CoLab user Administrator has sent you the following message:

Subject: Judging Results on your Proposal High-Speed Podcars for intercity travel and cargo transport

Thank you for your submission to the Climate CoLab. The Judges have carefully reviewed your proposal, however, given the large number of high-quality proposals, decided not to advance it to the next round. The Judges felt the proposal would face significant upfront costs, and wondered how the proponents would encourage uptake. We encourage you stay engaged with the Climate CoLab and to continue to develop your idea."

Yet the judges advanced the ridiculous roller-coaster idea which would face the same "supposed challenges".  What a joke.

 

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