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Wealth & Economics > When will the roads be scrapped and sold?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16030 comments Don't know how Musk's pneumatic transportation would prove itself worthy, but with development of drones delivery and personal transportation shall move into the air (unless, of course, different lobbies manage to stall the obvious -:)).
Yeah, the parking space for those flying objects may still be necessary, but highways and roads may turn into the pieces of real estate in high demand.
Yeah, there are private/concession toll roads, but my impression most are still - public/municipal.
Do you see yourself switching to aerial transportation for daily commuting? How should the proceeds from sales be used? Can you imagine 'streets' disappearing?


message 2: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Nik, let's not simplify or generalize this subject too much. There are things that will always be more economical to move by road, like truck deliveries of food and other goods to supermarkets and shopping malls, or moving furniture by vans. Moving all that by air would entail hugely prohibitive costs. So, don't start selling highways and roads yet.

Don't forget also the moron/knucklehead/a..hole factor! Look at how the average persons drive on the roads and tell me if you want to have them with you high in the air, with no roads to channel them and no road signs to remind them of the rules.


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16030 comments Michel wrote: "Don't forget also the moron/knucklehead/a..hole factor! Look at how the average persons drive on the roads and tell me if you want to have them with you high in the air, with no roads to channel them and no road signs to remind them of the rules."

-:) I believe cars (or at least a big portion of them) may turn driverless rather soon and drones will definitely be equipped solely with autopilots. Don't see ppl taking piloting lessons beyond the emergency landing.
And yes, even then some rare knights will still ride their horses to the helipad -:)


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11762 comments We could call Musk's pneumatic system merely an evolved railway - you are in the rail instead of on it. As for commuting, in my SF novels I argue that through energy requirements and the availability of land, people are more likely to walk to work than commute - work will come closer to them.

I doubt people will take to commuting in an aerial drone when a driverless car was available, especially since congestion would make it rather difficult to be safe with hackers, etc at large. And it will always be more more expensive to go by air than on land for a single person going from A to B.


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16030 comments Ian wrote: "And it will always be more more expensive to go by air than on land for a single person going from A to B."

Allow me to have my doubts -:)
Just recently I think there was an experiment with the plane making a full circle around the globe (with stopovers of course) driven solely by energy of solar panels. Don't know whether succeeded


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11762 comments Nik, look at the size of the wings and the very light weight. Solar energy has far too low an energy density for soalr-powered aircraft to be successful competitors


message 7: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Think of the typical semi-trailer truck bringing fresh food supplies to a supermarket. It typically carries 10-20 tons of stuff that needs to be delivered quickly point-to-point, be it to a big city downtown or a rural market in the vastness of Montana. Now, to have a flying vehicle able to do the same job would entail a very powerful machine able to land and take off vertically (not all supermarkets have 3,000 meter-long runways). This entails a huge consumption of fuel to generate the engine thrust needed for that, meaning a humongus fuel bill for your pilot at the end of each month, plus incredible levels of noise pollution right close to residential areas. Until we have something out of sci-fi stories, like anti-gravity and electro-magnetic propulsion, forget replacing our roads with air routes.


message 8: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 3078 comments Michel wrote: "Think of the typical semi-trailer truck bringing fresh food supplies to a supermarket. It typically carries 10-20 tons of stuff that needs to be delivered quickly point-to-point, be it to a big cit..."

Still major work on long haul airships with solar arrays going on. Lift issue and noise pollution covered. I think they are more likely as competitor for cargo ships but who knows. For local cargo it comes down to cost of delivery i.e. the Amazon model. Small package i.e. 500g can be delivered by a very cheap drone from perhaps a more local small distribution centre. The $1,000 drones can lift up to 2Kg of camera parts. So equal lift. If the costs of delivery is below a truck cost for that size package then economics will drive adoption and physics/engine/lift development


message 9: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Phillip, the big problem with airships right now is that we are running quickly out of helium gas supplies. Returning to hydrogen gas is out of the question, due to its very high flammability (think HINDENBURG). Another problem is the sheer size of airships. Try to have one lower down between skyscrapers in a downtown area. Airships able to lift 10-20 tons would physically need to be huge.


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11762 comments Philip, think of Archimedes principle. To lift 20 t (goods plus weight of airship) you have to displace 20 t of air plus the weight of the helium. Try working out the volume of 20 t of air. As Michel notes, helium is getting rarer by the day, and the scientific community is getting concerned about not being able to get enough to run their low temperature magnets, and they need no more than a large thermos full.


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16030 comments Already now personal drones are being successfully tested. As of cargo - automobile transportation is only one of land methods which can maybe replaced by pneumatics. The current oil based fuel is estimated to survive 20-30 more years before bidding goodbye like coal at the time.. Solar panels' efficiency shall improve over time. I'm not talking about 10 year perspective, but maybe just a little longer - after Michael Cohen finishes his time -:)


message 12: by Igor (new)

Igor Ljubuncic (igorljubuncic) | 12 comments The solution is personal hovercraft - I always wanted to drift, but not have to replace tires all the time.
Igor


message 13: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Hovercraft will still need roads, or at least reasonably flat surfaces free of fixed obstacles.


message 14: by Igor (last edited Aug 22, 2018 12:24PM) (new)

Igor Ljubuncic (igorljubuncic) | 12 comments That is solved by extra thrust :)
Powerrrrrrrrrr.

On a more serious note, military hovercraft can clear obstacles up to 1.5 meters in height (that's four flasks and three cubits in imperial units), including rough terrain.

Sooooo ...

Igor


message 15: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin As you must know, Igor, hovercraft don't turn on a dime: they drift and slide sideways in a turn (due to fact they are floating on a cushion of air), so I hope that you have quite solid bumpers while circulating in the middle of hundreds/thousands of other hovercraft fighting for space to go their own way. Again, you still need roads. The only place you will not need roads is on a lake, river of sea.


message 16: by Igor (new)

Igor Ljubuncic (igorljubuncic) | 12 comments I only want hovercraft to drift - everything else is secondary.
Igor


message 17: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11762 comments Um, Igor, I am far from convinced the average pedestrian will be happy about drifting hovercraft.


message 18: by Igor (new)

Igor Ljubuncic (igorljubuncic) | 12 comments With hovercraft, you won't need pedestrians.
Igor


message 19: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11762 comments Oh dear, slack living, no exercise at all :-(


message 20: by Holly (new)

Holly (goldikova) So, will my dog need his own hovercraft for our after dinner walks?


message 21: by Michel (last edited Aug 22, 2018 07:24PM) (new)

Michel Poulin Here is one sure way to get rid of roads: build giant tower buildings containing a whole city, but in height instead of ground area. Use rolling carpets, escalators and high speed elevators to go around, instead of cars. That would also preserve vast areas of green space that would otherwise disappear under a coat of ashphalt. Subway lines would link together such city-towers, while cargo-carrying underground trains could move bulk supplies and other items.


message 22: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11762 comments Ha, Michel has just endorsed two of my SF books :-) (Bet he didn't intend to.) My description wasn't quite that - I had (in one of them) transport for people was through capsules that rode in tubes, and each floor of such a high-rise would have some capsule ports where you could dial up a capsule, get in, dial your destination, and it would take you there. Groceries, etc, were delivered similarly.


message 23: by Michel (last edited Aug 22, 2018 08:30PM) (new)

Michel Poulin I used this concept of tower-city/district in one of my novels, with a number of such giant towers (often pyramidal in shape in order to be more stable and distribute the mass on the ground) linked together by underground lines to form a metropolis. They contained a mix of residences, commercial space, production shops, laboratories, medical facilities and even agricultural areas (mostly hydroponic gardens, where growth basins can be stacked in height to save space). That way, someone could live his/her whole life without needing to go out of the city-tower. The whole thing was of course climate-controlled and filtrated the pollutants in the outside air. In my novel, such a city-tower rose over a 1,600 meter-high, sat on a piece of ground measuring 400 meters by 400 meters and sheltered a population of 85,000 people in comfort and with all services and amenities.


message 24: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments I just have to say something about my favorite mode of travel - the transporter in Star Trek. Give me a minute, now. What if you were scanned in one place, and that was received by a 3-D printer in another place so that you could be printed out? I'm not giving up on the transporter, as I like to travel but don't like planes :-) I know, lots of problems with this one.


message 25: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Scout wrote: "I just have to say something about my favorite mode of travel - the transporter in Star Trek. Give me a minute, now. What if you were scanned in one place, and that was received by a 3-D printer in..."

I turned this into an absolute tool of horror in my Freedom Reigns Series!


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11762 comments Scout, "if you were scanned in one place, and that was received by a 3-D printer in another place" there would nominally be two of you. Which one would be the one with your "soul" or memories?


message 27: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments I know, I know. Still . . . wouldn't transportation in this sense be great? Just a dream, but a nice one.


message 28: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16030 comments Maybe one doesn't need to be transported anywhere - just print and reprint yourself like agent Smith in Matrix -:) However, first check whether you have enough housing space to accommodate all the 'selves'


message 29: by Igor (new)

Igor Ljubuncic (igorljubuncic) | 12 comments Dogs can have their own little hovercraft - or go about chasing them.
Igor


message 30: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 3078 comments Thanks for the airship info. I had forgotten the helium shortage. I still think the idea will "fly" at least for cargo or humanitarian aid when roads etc are difficult.

From 2012 US Army
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ha1V...

From 2017 Airlander - still in development

https://arstechnica.com/information-t...


message 31: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1847 comments Scout wrote: "I just have to say something about my favorite mode of travel - the transporter in Star Trek. Give me a minute, now. What if you were scanned in one place, and that was received by a 3-D printer in..."

Skip the printer and stick with the transporter. Only 1 of everyone.


message 32: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1847 comments I don't want to give up roads or convertibles. And, Ian, a Miata drifts nicely. I buy tires every 3 years.


message 33: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11762 comments Good to know your car behaves, Lizzie, but I hope I am not encouraging excessive tyre consumption :-)


message 34: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1847 comments Ian wrote: "Good to know your car behaves, Lizzie, but I hope I am not encouraging excessive tyre consumption :-)"

I have owned a Miata since 1999. I miss the supercharged one, which I totaled when the brakes went. lol. I don't need encouragement. And my tires are Z rated for a reason. It's my joy - top down, sounds up, race through the gears and never brake for the curves.


message 35: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments There's really nothing to compare with drinking a cold beer and driving down an oak-canopied dirt road in South Georgia (U.S.) on a Sunday afternoon. I pity the future kids who won't have that experience.


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