Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Better Carpools with Compossible Cars

Todays random thought is about how to make car pooling better.

The Trouble with Car Pools

This week I have to drive 60 miles to a client down in San Marcos. This is a long drive, I would appreciate both the gas advantages of a car pool, but also the time savings of being able to be productive while driving. However, to do this I need someone near by, who will drive to my house (or vice versa) then drive to my work, and then pick me up. This is a bunch of extra’s and lot’s of little things that if they go wrong will ruin my day. It’s just too much trouble.


but what if it didn’t have to be this way?

Image if our 2 cars could become 1, for a period, then split apart again. Then we could both drive to a common meet up, join up, ride together until we covered the common portion of our trip. spilt apart and not have to worry about getting stuck if one of us needs to stay late at work tonight.

Here’s a diagram of the idea:


The nice thing about this is not only do you get to share the burden of driving, but also gas mileage only goes up slightly with weight. From my short search, doubling your weight (2 cars) would only remove about 10% to your gas mileage. So a 34MPG Smart Car should get about 30 MPG combined with a second car.


Custom Logo Design Company said...
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Phil Nash said...

A few years ago I heard about some pilot scheme they were trying out somewhere in Wales (UK). It was a type of "light railway" but where each carriage was autonomous, but joined into a long train for mainline stretches of the journey. It would then break off for smaller branches. Each carriage was big enough for 4 or 6 people, IIRC - so comparable to our cars.
That's as much as I remember - I don't even know if they built this or if it was just a proposal. I really wish I could track it down as it seemed to me this was just about the perfect system to replace all our travel needs - as well as addressing economic/ environmental aspects. It appears to scale from single car to inter-city train needs. In way it would be a realisation of your carpool idea, taken even further. I would love to know if it could be made to work!

Phil Nash said...

Still not found it, specifically, but (after asking around a bit on Twitter), it seems to be a combination of Personal Rapid Transit (http://www.personalrapidtransit.com) and "non-stop trains" http://walyou.com/non-stop-future-train-concept

Perhaps your take on it may become more viable, as driverless cars get closer to mainstream (I think the automation is a key element).

Unknown said...

I thought about a similar idea but at a smaller scale. I thought of as a bike train that would let people connect bikes together to allow them to easily climb hills that might be obstructions to less strong riders. It would probably be a hassle if there were too many different destinations and folks in the middle wanted to detach.

SM Blogger said...
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