gp9rm4108 wrote:Trains aren't going anywhere.
I agree steel wheel on steel rail is very low friction and very efficient. If anything, autonomous vehicle technology and control will be applied to trains. It's even easier for trains as they don't have to detect lanes. It will be hard to eliminate the crews (things happen on the rails), but we may see improvements to PTC.
ExCon90 wrote:Not very good news for ordinary motorists, either--for coast-to-coast in 48 hours I make that something in excess of 60 mph average speed start to stop, with no allowance for refueling or attending to the driver's personal needs en route, let alone for interchange ramps good for 25 mph max, as attested by routine traffic reports of overturned tractor-trailers. (Although come to think of it, the Air Force manages to refuel planes in flight; maybe something like that could be devised for autonomous trucks.) And if the system functions as intended, the trucks will have to slow down for traffic jams like everybody else--I wouldn't count on the sort of schedule performance that UPS--or Amazon, for that matter--requires.
Since hybrid and battery powered technologies are available, perhaps overhead catenary could be used on high-traffic routes and congestion points. "The truck is stuck in traffic trying to cross the George Washington Bridge, but at least the batteries are charging." Tie the electric bill to EzPass.