Our experience causedus to invent Solar-Powered Mobility Networks:
I learned the value of moving payloads suspended from a guideway more than half a century ago as a child. Too small to manage a wheelbarrow, I could move tons. The lesson was reinforced as an Infantry officer using cargo nets and helicopters to deliver logistics.
In 1998, we applied these concepts to invent JPods solar-powered mobility networks. Electric motors replaced the muscles, and robots replaced the small child. Solar collectors deployed over the guideways can gather the energy to power the networks. The combined outcome cuts urban mobility costs for people and cargo by 10X. JPods is 50X less expensive than buses per passenger-mile, 25X less than trains, and 10X less than cars.
The name JPods come from the letter "J" representing the hook hanging from an overhead guideway. The name did not come from iPods. In 1999, I was invited by Apple on two national tours to show how Macintosh computers could be used in business. WebClerk, the business software I wrote, had been awarded "Best New High Tech Product of the Year" in Minnesota. I tried to get Steve Jobs to help build JPods at that time. He thought Segways had a better chance than JPods of breaking the regulatory barriers. However, he liked the idea of physically packaging digital delivery, and 18 months later he announced iPods.
Blocking transportation innovation are the regulatory barriers since The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1916 began violating the Constitution's "post Roads" restriction. This restriction was voted into the Constitution on Sept 14, 1787. The Boston Tea Party was a demonstration against the general government's transportation monopoly that triggered a war. To prevent the Federal government from creating a transportation monopoly that rebuilt that path to war, state governments were made sovereign over "internal improvements." Climate Change, oil wars since 1991, and oil-dollar funded terrorism are all consequences of violating the Preamble, "post Roads," and "No Preference" clauses of the Constitution.
Congressional Study PB-244854, "Automated Guideway Transit" documents the "institutional failures" that have blocked transportation innovation for "four to six decades." Government monopolies mandating the 25 mpg transportation efficiency of the Model-T are similar to their communication monopolies mandating nearly a century of rotary telephones. Link to the history of the Internet.
As regulatory barriers are broken, and free markets are restored, transportation and energy will digitize just as communications did. More than the "Internet of Things" digitizing devices, devices and networks will digitize into the Physical Internet®. On Sept 8, 2022, the Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Coalition of Governments broke the regulatory barriers to invite innovation.
Many will think this shift to self-driving cars is new. Yet, what Elon Musk is doing with Tesla self-driving cars has been done in Morgantown, WV. President Nixon's daughter, Tricia, opened the world's first network of self-driving cars in 1972. JPods builds on the success of Morgantown's PRT. Following are:
- Video of Walter Cronkite covering Tricia Nixon opening the first network of grade-separated self-driving cars (Personal Rapid Transit, or PRT) on Oct 24, 1972, in Morgantown, WV.
- 2013 letter from the Mayor of Morgantown on the efficacy of that network.
- 2013 video of the Morgantown PRT network.
Simple drives a paradigm shift in urban mobility:
My name is Bill James. A West Point education (1972) in Nuclear Engineering and Infantry experience convinced me in 1998 that oil-wars since 1991 would continue as long as America was importing 1/3rd of the oil we use daily. Working with classmates and others, we defined the problem and solution:
- Problem: Burning energy moving 2 tons to move a person resulted in oil-wars, oil-funded terrorism, national debt increasing with oil imports, Climate Change, and traffic congestion:
- Solution: For 36 years, we have written software and robotics to apply Just-in-Time concepts to manufacturing and sales processes. My patent for solar-powered mobility networks(6,810,817) applies this experience to the mobility process:
- Grade-separated networks of self-driving cars: “A method of controlling a transportation System for moving people, freight, and any combination whereof using a distributed network of intelligent devices without requiring the aid of a human driver”
- Solar-powered mobility networks: “The method... providing... Solar and wind power generators integrated into the physical Structure of said transportation system...”
- West Point classmates joined the effort to document the physics (link) and lead efforts such as the Texas Mobility Company (link).
- Many other veterans, technical innovators, environmentalists, oil experts, solar experts, and more have contributed (link to example efforts).
JPods invented solar-powered mobility networks to convert traffic costs into jobs, customer savings, and profits by striving to combine:
- The outstanding safety, efficiency, and personal service of the Morgantown PRT.
- The 470 ton-mpg efficiency of freight railroad.
- The 10,000X (10,000 times) better safety record of theme park thrill rides versus roads.
- The ease of use of elevators.
- The on-demand service of the Internet.
- 10X (10 times) greater benefits to drive a paradigm shift.
Following are data on our objective, who we are, and explanations of the above points.
- In the niche of dense, highly repetitive urban transportation of payloads less than 1,200 pound
- Build and operate JPods solar-powered mobility networks in the DFW area to convert traffic costs for congestion, accidents, and pollution into jobs, customer savings, and profits.
- Here is a 22 and 90-second summary of JPods solar-powered mobility networks:
90-Second summary video:
22-Second summary video:
Network convert traffic costs into value with multiple 10X (10 times) benefits: