Thursday, July 17, 2014

Helping Solve The Transportation Problem

The RAC Transportation System was designed by Tommy Thompson,
    209 Shirley Drive, Florence,  AL 35633 256-767-0422  * *  

The RAC Transportation System represents a departure from the conventional solution to a new perspective to solve the commuting  problem worldwide. The current method used across the world is to group passengers together in trains, buses, or monorails. These methods are too costly; they displace too much valuable real estate, and the passengers do not like the results. I have designed a system that uses existing right-of-way; the vehicles are inexpensive to build and cost less than any form of motorized transportation available. One design for the exterior body of a RAC vehicle can be made of a high-density polyethylene reinforced with nylon straps, and the interior can be made of polypropylene, and insulated with UltrathermTM, a proprietary blend of polyurethane foam. The passengers travel in privacy and comfort and on their own schedule. Because of the low cost of operating this system, the passenger is able to save money, and the government can generate more revenue from taxes than they do currently from gasoline taxes. The commuters pay for their transportation using the E-ZPass system common on most toll highways. The RAC Transportation System produces no greenhouse gases, operates quietly, and solves many parking problems. 

A Better Method of Transportation  

The purpose of the RAC is not to replace the family automobile but rather to provide a more perfect form of transportation for commuters. Some of the RAC vehicles will be owned by the commuters, and others will be rented on a trip basis. The RAC and its track represent a cross between an automobile and a metro-type train system. The RAC system provides the privacy of a car without the inconvenience of gridlock traffic. The system will reduce the amount of oil the nation has to import from other countries and the amount of pollution in the environment. The system will be powered by electricity obtained from the local power grid and supplemented by solar panels attached to the top of the track. The RAC travels on wheels, which are mounted above the vehicle, or with a maglev system that some of the Japanese and Chinese trains use for propulsion. 

The system is designed to be placed beside an existing highway or in the median between lanes.  Near larger cities, the space of one HOV lane can be converted to three RAC lanes, or the system can be elevated above the existing highway.  The speed, destination and choice of track will be controlled by a computer. 

 Moving Commuters With Speed, Safety, and Comfort

Image showing relative size of passenger to vehicle without track

Today it is necessary for autos to be heavy to protect the passenger. From the beginning, autos were designed to carry multiple passengers. We need a new system designed for today’s commuter. In reality most commuters today travel alone. Most of today’s commuters travel in vehicles designed to transport 3 or 4 additional passengers and weigh 4 to 6 thousand pounds. The RAC system builds the  protection into the system rather than in the vehicle. Placing concrete barriers, sometimes referred to as New Jersey Barriers, on each side of, and separated by the width of an existing lane of highway will protect the RAC vehicles from existing traffic. Mounted to these barriers and extending up and over the roadway between these barriers will be a steel framework on which to mount the track. The sides of this framework will be covered with cyclone fencing. The top of the framework will be covered with a solid material, possibly a teflon-coated fiberglass similar to the material covering the Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN.

Design of the Track for the RAC Transportation System
 An Example of a Track for the RAC System With Concrete Barrier and Cyclone Fencing Above Barrier

I have a designed tracks, lane change, and exits. The concrete barricade is designed to protect the system from accidental collision from other vehicles.The barricades would be needed on both sides of the system if it is installed between the lanes of an Interstate highway but only on one side if it is installed on one side of the highway. Cyclone wire on the sides will keep animals and large birds out of the system. The RAC system builds the protection around the track rather than adding weight to the vehicle to protect the passenger.  The RAC overhead tracks can be mass produced in factories and shipped to the locations for installation.

RAC Transportation System's Parking Solution

When a city uses the RAC system, an abundance of parking spaces for those who still use their passengar cars will be available.  A RAC vehicle is so light that buildings that are now abandoned can be converted into parking decks for the smaller, lighter RAC. Office buildings may have vacant floors that can be converted to parking spaces for the RACs. The RAC is powered by electricity and can travel inside buildings to load and unload passengers. The figure above depicts a possible layout for RACs in a small building. Buildings that have drop-down ceilings can use this empty space as parking of RACs for the people who work in those buildings. RACs can be parked in a 36-inch by 72-inch space with only one inch separating them. Four or more RACs can be parked in the space required for one automobile. No space is required for opening and closing doors. This is possible because the passenger would exit the vehicle in one place, and the vehicles guided by computer would move to the nearest vacant parking location. When commuters leave for the day, they will use a remote control to summon a RAC to their location. Because the track will be so economical to install, stores may collaborate to install track to enter and exit their stores. 

Benefits of the RAC Transportation System over Other Forms of Transportation


Artist's Concept of a RAC Transportation System Spanning a Creek

Relieving the United States from the burden of importing so much fuel from other countries is one benefit of the RAC system. This benefit will allow families to keep more of their income for their needs. Our government is almost bankrupt and cannot afford to buy more right-of-way for more lanes of highway, nor can our nation afford the high cost of constructing more highways after the land has been purchased. The cost of constructing three lanes for RAC is less than one-half the cost of constructing one lane of highway. The passenger is able to sleep, eat, watch television, and work on a computer while going to or from work. 

The construction cost for developing the RAC system is a small fraction of the cost of developing a rail system. Trains follow a set schedule and  commuters have to travel on that schedule and passengers are crowded together in large groups with no privacy.  

Freight Delivery Using the RAC Transportation System  

If the gridlock created by commuters can be solved, the highway would be relatively free for the movement of freight and remaining traffic. Using this system freight weighing less than 300 pounds can be accomplished by having storage compartments measuring 3x6 ft. and attached to the same overhead wheeled dolly used for the passenger vehicle. Many trips are made between nearby towns each day to deliver or pick up parts, from thimble size to the 300-pound limit. Someone from one town needing a part located in a nearby town can place a call or email the order, and the company can place it on RAC and in 30 minutes the part will be delivered regardless of the size of the order. As long as the order fits in the compartment, it can be delivered with no driver. It is as simple as someone on the first floor of a large building calling someone on the 12th floor, asking them to put a wrench on the elevator, and send it to them by pushing the 12th floor button. This system is similiar to an elevator, except that rather than moving vertically it travels horizontally. 
Solution for Universities Having Limited Space

Universities using this system would be able to turn valuable real estate now used for parking lots or space for the construction of new buildings. Many universities no longer have room to expand. By using the RAC Transportation System, the vehicles would move in and out of the buildings to load and unload passengers. The vehicles would then be moved out guided by computer to other locations for parking. The system could be elevated over pedestrian and auto traffic on campus and enter and exit the buildings on the second or third floors. A student who has to study in the library late at night would be able to travel back to their dorms more safely. This would also enable students who leave a class on the northern side of the campus to arrive in time for a class located on the southern side of the campus without exposure from the elements.

This system or another similar system will never become reality unless the public demands it to relieve congestion. The relevant Government agencies do not want to change; they just want to add more lanes and create more congestion. For more information contact Tommy Thompson: