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By Boraxus
#6180
It seams obvious that the most serious traffic accidents happen at the highest speeds. The idea set forth in this post can be modified for town driving, with increased technology, but I figure I will list what can happen “today” on the highways and freeways.

I have commuted for many years in bumper to bumper traffic. Usually 1.5-2 hours a day. I often wondered if there is an apparatus that can be connected to the back and front frames of cars so that they can connect and disconnect like a train.

The basic idea is that you would save fuel and traffic accidents by having every third car running at a much higher gear, at a much lower RPM, and the other cars would essentially be “off” or in neutral.

All the breaks would be matched together through the hardwired connection that allows the cars to connect and disengage.

This would mean it would have to be 3 lane highways, one lane (far left lane in North America) that would be at 150km/hour, then a middle lane to slip stream down/up, then an exit lane.

Drivers would enter their destination into a telecommunications computer in the car, pull into “slip stream up” then the car would send out a signal detecting the “group” it would join (if traffic wasn’t bumper to bumper, otherwise a break in the group would allow for automated connection). The user then would get a signal for an “auto engage”, and the car would pull into the fastest lane, and connect to the other cars.

0 distance between cars, allowing for more traffic on the roads, and increased speeds because all breaks work in unison. The strongest engines are noted and used, and the drivers get an automated deposit in their account for added gas / wear and tear costs.

Big trucks, most can do this, the ones that cannot get up to speed are designated onto a different route of 80-90km/hr – and the money saved from accidents and environmental costs of running the cars is used to offset “side road” improvements to allow for this.

Either you can use the technology that is being developed today (I have seen shows that talk about magnetic strips being used, but this does not allow for combined breaking nor lower gas consumption) so single cars can be to control the lead cars, or hire professional drivers to drive every day and to report any misuses, abuses, or problems on the road. The inbetween cars can lay back, relax or read on the way to school/work. A warning comes on before engaging and disengaging to notify drivers.

Reward: Recognition, and the ability to read on the way to school/work when this is created!
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By AaronBurns
#6194
Why not add train like tracks to freeways for cars to track in?
Also, if your cars are together, like in a train format, then you just need to add some kind of air shock to the bumpers and the brakes on the lead car are the only brakes you would need.
One problem, if the cars were not cushioned, you could potentially cause all of their air bags to go off when connecting.
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By Boraxus
#6196
AaronBurns wrote:Why not add train like tracks to freeways for cars to track in? Also, if your cars are together... you could potentially cause all of their air bags to go off when connecting.


I was trying to get realistic in costs. Tracks would cost too much to produce and maintain at this time (cost of materials). Also the conversion from car to track would be much more costly than a locking emchanism for the bumpers.

You raise a good point, maybe make the airbags far less sensitive for a moment before and prior to hookup and disconnection. Then if the connection does not occur properly, have it auto-re-engage so that if an accident is in progress you still have that saftey feature(s) (don;t forget the rear air bags as an added saftey feature when the car is designed with this mechanism - http://www.creativitypool.com/viewtopic ... 1e77d#6023 ;-D )
By Inventor_Supreme
#6230
Volkswagen have already trialled something similar to this, only using wireless telemetry between cars linking their throttle and brakes to work in unison. This is much more cost effective than air bumpers or linkages. The major huddle to introducing it is, like usual, the crazy US insurance liability laws.
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By AaronBurns
#6237
Inventorsupreme - They also had it trialed on a track and had lines for them to follow.
They are also working on an optical computer to follow road lines and add that into the whole process and you might have something.
But, you have to admit that cars in a train was the first idea that started the revolution of cars drving themselves. ;-D
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