Re: TRANSPORTATION: Replacing Cars with Shuttles

Dan Clemmensen (
Sat, 07 Nov 1998 19:45:47 -0500

my inner geek wrote:
> Replacing the transportation system with automated lightweight
> shuttles will require taking the old steel cars and melting them
> down. Then we can injection mold small driverless hybrid
> flywheel/electric motor driven computer navigated shuttles.
> We can take the steel and use it in steel framed houses.
> See
> Does anyone know the logistics requirements of converting cars into
> raw steel, then moving large numbers of people out of apartments and
> into low and medium density steel framed homes?

If the "lightweight shuttle is an autonomous vehicle, you will need at least ten year's more development berore it's viable on a "dumb" road system. If it's not autonomous, you are looking at a major infrastructure change, which will also take at least ten years. This is in addition to the infrasctuctural changes needed for power. In either case, you are likely to be overtaken by events.
> This could give all the soldiers something to do with all their spare
> time. They could transfer their calorie-burning efforts from
> training maneuvers to home construction.
Soldiers (at least, in the US) are trained professionals, and they don't have all that much free time. The idea that a soldier is untrained or easily-trained cannon-fodder has been growing less and less valid since at least the end of the Napoleonic wars, and is completely inapplicable to the modern US army. If you cut back on tarining time, you'll need more soldiers to achieve the same level of readiness. We've been tryihg hard to go the other way: fewer, better-trained soldiers.

> We can give Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz,
> Volvo, Mazda, Hyundai the contracts for the shuttles.

They could bid for the contracts, but they may not have the right skills. Depends on the system-level architecture for the entire concept, not just the cars.

More generally, your proposal as stated appears to require a massive, centralized project. That's a bit hard to do in a democracy. Could you please describe your concept of the organization of this project?