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Tesla mobility idea - Subway autonomous cars

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by Jurogo, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. Jurogo

    Jurogo Member

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    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Spain
    Today I saw an article about a Tesla mobility service:

    Elon Musk teases a new autonomous ‘Tesla Mobility’ service


    I have an idea about a mobility service in the cities (New York, London, Madrid, ..) using the existing subway infrastructure, and I think it is within Tesla capabilities.

    The idea is to substitute the trains with small autonomous vehicles with a “googleCar” configuration.

    The vehicles would be waiting for the occupants in each station and would take them directly to their destination station, eliminating the three main disadvantages of the subway:
    • Need to wait for the train
    • Have to stop in each station
    • Not too comfortable

    I would also eliminate the disadvantages of a car sharing service:
    • Autonomous vehicles in the streets are more difficult
    • Traffic jams in the surface


    The vehicles would be electric and charge themselves in the stations.

    The vehicles would be autonomous in a controlled environment. Autonomous driving in roads in tunnels would be very similar to current Tesla Autopilot. Vehicles would drive themselves to:
    • Occupants destinations stations
    • Redistribute automatically to stations with lower level of occupancy

    I would like to know what do you think about this idea, and if you can help me to let Elon know it. I know sometimes he read forum members twitts.
     
  2. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Are these vehicles running on the existing rails? If so, you need a way for them to bypass the group waiting at the station. If not, you need to repave the tunnels, which may or may not be a simple task.

    Your proposal is doable, but it will cost a lot more money than a subway system for a volume of people served and may have capacity limitations.

    As a related thought, many subway stations have long escalators for street access. What if you allow automated electric cars access down a ramp/escalator into the system as well/instead?

    You could potentially take your car or one of the subway's directly to your final destination, not just to the nearest station...
     
  3. Jurogo

    Jurogo Member

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    The vehicles would run in normal roads. So yes, it would require to repave the tunnels.

    In the following posts I will analyce the viability of the idea (costs, capacity required, advantages, disadvantages). Any comment will be highly appreciated.

    This service will be far better than the subway, so it must be compared with all means of transport (taxi/uber, cars, bus, ...). A higher cost than the subway may be justified, for example people are willing to pay more for taxi/uber.

    The CAPEX (infraestructure costs) pre-analysis::
    • Pavement of the tunnels & ilumniation: TBD
    • Manufacter a fleet of small shared electric cars: 20k cars * $10K = $200M (aprox?)
    • Accondicionating stations (space for the autonomous cars to park and charge): TBD
    • Building additional small tunnels to connect subway lines: TBD
    • Software to controll everything
    The OPEX (operating cost) pre-analysis::
    • Maintenance cars, stations, roads
    • Very few workers (no drivers. Only security, software, ...)
    Capacity pre-analysis:
    • 100 cars per train station ?
    • 2 Lines per rail ?
    • Several levels if line is too crowded ?
    • No crosswalk, traffic lights, etc..
    • Speed: 45 mph ?

    I don´t really see other cars driving into the subway (very big cars, only electric & autonomous), but it could make sense in some situations..
     
  4. Jurogo

    Jurogo Member

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    Location:
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    Means of transport. User point of view

    Bicycle (shared)
    • Advantages

      • Fast

      • Low price
    • Disadvantages

      • Not valid for all people (old people, …)

      • Dangerous

      • No trunk
    Car
    • Advantages

      • Fast

      • Comfortable
    • Disadvantages

      • Slow in rush hour

      • Parking
    Taxi/Uber
    • Advantages

      • Fast

      • Comfortable
    • Disadvantages

      • High price

      • Slow in rush hour
    Bus
    • Advantages

      • Low price
    • Disadvantages

      • Wait in the station for the bus

      • Stop in each bus-station

      • Transfer between lines

      • Not too comfortable
    Subway
    • Advantages

      • Low price
    • Disadvantages

      • Wait in the station for the train

      • Stop in each train-station

      • Transfer between lines

      • Not too comfortable
    Subway autonomous cars
    • Advantages

      • Fast

      • Comfortable
    • Disadvantages

      • ¿?
     
  5. Jurogo

    Jurogo Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    City means of transport - Society point of view

    Bicycle (shared)
    • Advantages

      • No pollution

      • No noise

      • No traffic jams
    • Disadvantages

      • ¿?
    Car
    • Advantages

      • ¿?
    • Disadvantages

      • Pollution

      • Noise

      • Traffic jams

      • Needs parking space
    Taxi/Uber
    • Advantages

      • ¿?
    • Disadvantages

      • Pollution

      • Noise

      • Traffic jams
    Bus
    • Advantages

      • No traffic jams
    • Disadvantages

      • Pollution

      • Noise
    Subway
    • Advantages

      • No traffic jams

      • No noise

      • No pollution
    • Disadvantages

      • High investment?
    Subway autonomous cars
    • Advantages

      • No traffic jams

      • No noise

      • No pollution
    • Disadvantages

      • ¿?
     
  6. voyager

    voyager Member

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    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #6 voyager, Apr 23, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
    [​IMG]

    Of course, Musk is looking into the gigantic market of service-oriented transportation, as opposed to Tesla's primarily product-oriented strategy so far. It is hard to imagine Tesla owners sharing their costly, posh, full-size saloon cars with anyone else. What's even more of a problem, Teslas are too big and heavy to be considered flexible and maneuverable transport modes in modern day traffic, particularly in cities. May be Musk's boldest move, taking Tesla passed the competition.
     
  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Your ideas are interesting, but you are neglecting a huge cost which makes such a concept impractical: the cost of building the tunnels. Only few cities have an existing network of tunnels and they are completely occupied by the existing fixed rail mass transit systems. You can't use them. Your idea requires an all new network of tunnels. Tunnels are extraordinarily expensive to build.
     
  8. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

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    Location:
    Bay Area
    So, basically, Walt Disney's people mover concept?
     
  9. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    Michigan
    There was a People Mover built in Detroit in the 70's that's still operating. Concrete elevated rack, rubber wheels, linear induction motors, computer control. They pretty much had to build an isolated, dedicated track walled off from other traffic or pedestrians to do automation. The big deal about autonomous vehicles now is precisely that they don't need that dedicated infrastructure like subway tunnels that make things vastly more expensive. They can use regular roads and mingle with pedestrians and other vehicles.
     

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