In 1974, Congress commissioned a study of how to mitigate the hardships of the 1973 Oil Embargo and traffic problems in America. "Automated Guideway Transit", study PB-244854 was published by the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (COTA) in 1975.

The study had two significant findings:

  1. Automated guideway transportation networks presented the greatest opportunity to solve oil and traffic problems.
  2. The barrier to solving oil and traffic problems is Federal regulations. Chapter 3: Major Problems in Automated Guideway Transit, Page 41:

Urban transportation technology has advanced at such a slow pace that prevailing systems are almost indistinguishable from their counterparts of four to six decades ago (aside from some relatively minor cosmetic changes). However, the lack of progress is not a result of failure to advance technology. Much advanced transportation technology exists. Rather, it is a failure to devise effective ways to introduce the technology into urban transportation.

This failure stems from a lack of understanding by UMTA [responsible Federal agency] of the capabilities of the private sector and local transportation authorities and UMTA’S underestimation of the difficulties inherent in developing and implementing reliable and cost effective new systems.

US Senate Letter on the importance of implementing podcar networks (enlarge):

Government Monopolies:

As with nearly a century of rotary telephones under Federal monopoly, Americans have had a century with the 25 mpg transportation efficiency of the Model-T under Federal monopoly.

Metrics on Regulatory Barriers:

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1916 gave Federal regulators control over transportation:

  1. Federal regulators took control of transportation; 46% of the 470 ton-mpg freight railroads have since been replaced by 25 mpg roads.
  2. Eight Presidents issued unanswered calls to action to end foreign oil addiction.
  3. American soldiers have been trading blood for time to end foreign oil addiction since 1991 with no action by regulators to allow innovation.
  4. World leaders have been calling for innovation to end Climate Change since the Kyoto Protocol in 1992, with no action by regulators to allow innovation.
  5. Oil-dollar-funded terrorists attacked America on 911 without regulators' subsequent action to allow innovations.

Metrics of Innovations:

Automated Guideways:

  1. Morgantown's Automated Guideway network delivered 150 million passenger miles with two minor injuries. In that same period, networks controlled by Federal regulators resulted in 1.8 million road deaths.
  2. Thrill rides at amusement parks have evolved to be more intense and safer.

Pirates and Patriots. By purposefully violating every law that gets in their way:

  1. Tesla has delivered 1.88 billion (Nov 2019) self-driving car miles on roads:
  2. Scooters descended on cities like locus to provide easy access to local mobility without owning a car.
  3. Uber violates the taxi monopolies in many cities, radically improving service.

Lesson from the Internet

Under Federal regulators, there was nearly a century of rotary telephones.

In 1982, courts declared the Federal communications monopoly unconstitutional, with regulations shifting to commercial standards. Shifting to the 5X5 Standard for transportation will repeat the success in transportation experienced in communications.

The technology existed for the Internet for decades before it was commercialized—link to the history of the Internet and the Prime Law of Networks. For example, the technology for WiFi and Bluetooth was patented in 1941. In 1968, nearly every aspect of modern computing and the Internet were demonstrated in "The Mother of All Demos."

Enforcing the "post Roads" Restriction

The courts declared the Federal communications monopoly unconstitutional. The Federal highway program and Federal regulation of transportation have multiple clauses and 21 Presidential veto messages on why it is unconstitutional.

The Boston Tea Party was a demonstration against a government transportation monopoly that triggered a war. To preempt rebuilding that path to war, the "post Roads" and "Ports" restrictions were voted into the Constitution on Sept 14, 1787, forbidding Federal taxing and building of highways and canals beyond what was required to defend free speech. The US Constitution is an enumerated powers document. Powers not enumerated are forbidden.

Climate Change, perpetual oil wars since 1991, oil-dollar funded terrorist attacks on America, and $23 trillion in Federal debt buying foreign oil and fighting oil wars are violations of the Preamble, Necessary and Proper, and Commerce Clauses. These clauses are restated in Amendments 9 and 10 of the Bill of Rights.

State Constitutions

Approximately 34 state constitutions expressly forbid the government transportation monopolies we see today. Examples:

  • Arkansas: Article 2, Bill of Rights, 19. "Perpetuities and monopolies. Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a republic and shall not be allowed; nor shall any hereditary emoluments, privileges or honors ever be granted or conferred in this State."
  • Georgia: Article I, Bill of Rights, Section VI, Paragraph V: "Shall not have the power to authorize any contract or agreement which may have the effect of or which is intended to have the effect of encouraging a monopoly, which is hereby declared to be unlawful and void."
  • Maryland: Article. 41. "That monopolies are odious, contrary to the spirit of a free government and the principles of commerce, and ought not to be suffered."
  • Massachusetts, Article 6: "No man, nor corporation, or association of men, have any other title to obtain advantages or particular and exclusive privileges."
  • North Carolina: Article 1, Sec. 34. Perpetuities and monopolies. "Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free state and shall not be allowed."
  • Oklahoma: Article II, Bill of Rights, SECTION II-32. "Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free government and shall never be allowed, nor shall the law of primogeniture or entailments ever be in force in this State."
  • Wyoming: Art. 1, 30. Monopolies and perpetuities prohibited. "Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free state and shall not be allowed. Corporations being creatures of the state, endowed for the public good with a portion of its sovereign powers, must be subject to its control."

5X5 Standard

Following is an example of a simple, standard-based approach allowing free markets to innovate sustainable transportation networks. It is written relative to Georgia:


More of what is failing will likely fail. Current traffic problems are unsustainable. To encourage mobility innovations, the ___CITY__or__STATE___ shall apply the following existing regulations to mobility innovations with the following parameters:

  1. Parameters:
    1. Privately funded construction and/or deployment.
    2. Mobility systems are five times (5X) more efficient than roads (125 mpg or energy equivalent).
    3. Operated without government subsidies.
    4. Pay 5 percent of the gross transportation revenues to the aggregate rights-of-way holders.
    5. Exceed safety performance of transportation modes already approved for use.
    6. Systems with above-ground, grade-separated guideways must gather more than two megawatt-hours of renewable energy per network mile per typical day.
  2. Regulations:
    1. Self-driving vehicles shall comply with current laws applied to self-driving cars.
      1. If self-driving cars operate on grade-separated guideways, they shall be exempt from the regulations explicitly addressing the complexities of operating on existing roadways.
    2. Access to existing Rights of Ways shall comply with existing Rights of Way use regulations, Office of Right of Way of the State of Georgia, Department of Transportation.
    3. Grade-separated guideways must be designed, fabricated, installed, insured, and inspected in compliance with the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner (ASTM International F24 standards for Amusement Rides and Devices);

Links to References by State for: