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A Plan for an Automated Electric Vehicle Highway Faces Many Hurdles

Will Jones has a plan for getting us out of our transportation malaise, cleaning the world’s air in the process. It’s the Tracked Electric Vehicle System (TEV), and it’s an automated interstate highway for EVs, with charging embedded in the roadway. You’d never stop to charge, because you’d charge while you’re driving. “It requires no technical breakthroughs,” said Jones. “Just competent engineering.”
“Destination, Please”

It is likely that TEV (an open-source plan like Elon Musk’s Hyperloop) could be built with current technology, even though it is highly automated. Under the plan, you would drive to the express track, where a dashboard navigation screen tells you, “Entering TEV Network, destination, please.” As you enter the highway (at speeds up to 120 mph), your drive-by-wire car locks into a guide slot and autopilot takes over to your destination, where you undock from the roadway. “Prepare for departure!” the same cheery voice says.

Your car won’t be alone on the driverless highway—you’d run cheek by jowl with mini-buses, robo-cabs and vans, and even trains, the latter with flexible schedules that “will run whenever the people need them.”

You can download a 71-page handbook for TEV, and it addresses everything about the system, including some thoughts on how it might be funded. That’s critically important, because along with Musk’s Hyperloop and many other approaches to transforming transportation—solar panels embedded in the roadway, anyone?—the big stumbling block is not whether it works or not, but whether it can possibly be funded.
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