Section Links: What | Glideway | Vehicle | Patent

The BiModal Glideway System, presented here for the first time, is unique when compared to other multi-modal systems. Designing a multi-modal which can interact with conventional traffic has become nearly impossible due to the cost of developing new, separated highways for the automated vehicles, required to avoid accidents. A separate elevated single lane system made the most sense if we could develop ways to reduce both interaction with other traffic and the ground space (footprint) required for ramps and rights-of-way. We would also want to improve the speed and safety of travel and increase energy efficiency while maintaining the same throughput as a three lane highway.

The Glideway supports high speed, self-contained, fully automated, electric bimodal vehicles riding on steel wheels between electrified, single lane, elevated, rails. To do this, we developed a concept of the vertical switch in conjunction with single lane, elevated, simplistic, cost-effective glideways. With the explosion of current sophisticated and relatively inexpensive miniaturized, electronic, communication, computing, and control systems it is now technically feasible to fully automate automobiles by integrating separate bimodal suspension, propulsion, and control subsystems improving reliability, speed, safety, pollution and reduce the foot print of conventional automobile/highway systems.

Each glideway is designed for separate purposes, such as intra-urban at relatively slow speeds and frequent on/off ramps, or inter-urban at higher speeds (over 100 mph) traveling long distances with fewer ramps. The concept also provides a system for bimodals to exit a high speed main line and proceed on a cog rail at a slower speed traveling safely up steep grades.

In order to prevent serious traffic jams at entrance or exit terminals the bimodal will have multiple ramps below the main line and be established at locations with the least congestion from local traffic. The bimodal is an automobile first and foremost with an alternative system for traversing long distances at constant speed, hands and mind free, safely before rejoining surface traffic.

Figure 8

From patent: Detailed frontal cross-section of a vehicle in the middle of a switching operation.

Comments are closed.