Higherway Controls and Operations
Higherway systems will be operated by vehicle
computers, local traffic control computers and a central routing and
billing computer. Fiber optic lines, infrared, radio and wire cables
will connect the computers to each other and to sensors and rider
communication devices. Ridecard-issuing machines will photograph
first-time riders and accept currency and preference data from them. The
machines will issue ridecards with the rider identification,
preferences, and billing information on them.
Personal Automated Transport Stop Operations
Each passenger stop will have at least one radio
frequency identification (RFID) reader and modified credit card
pay telephone for each vehicle berth. (Modified credit card telephones
are used because they are reliable and low cost compared to developing
new interface devices.) If the rider is going to his previously selected
default stop he will put his ridecard near a RFID reader. If he
wants to go to a different stop he will insert his ridecard into the
modified credit card telephone. The telephone will ask for the number
of the desired destination station, or for any change in commute
preferences. If the rider needs more information or help he can use the
telephone to talk to a human system operator. After the rider responds,
the central computer will issue routing instructions to a vehicle and
charge the rider's account or reduce the value stored in the ridecard.
When the vehicle is ready at the berth, the vehicle computer will call
the rider audibly (and with flashing lights for deaf riders). The rider
will board the vehicle and push the "CLOSE DOOR" button. The doors will
close and the vehicle will go non-stop to the destination stop. If the
rider needs to change his destination en route, he can use a control
panel like one shown in the drawing, but the choices are limited to
common emergencies. The rider can talk to a human system operator on
the vehicle phone, if necessary.
The Higherway skyhook dualmode system is planned to
have the following characteristics:
- It is a skyhook dualmode system, with Bazs
which stay on the guideways and are owned by the PAT system . The Bazs
can operate on the guideways empty or carrying Owl cargo
containers or Quail/Pheasants. The Bazs are longer than
the Quail/Pheasants so that when Bazs bump each other
the Quail/Pheasants don't bump.
- Dualmode is an addition to the PAT system. There
is a requirement that the dualmode vehicles (Quail/Pheasant) not
exceed the size of the largest PAT pods (Pelicans) on the system
or the aerodynamic drag and gross weight of the Owl cargo pod.
- The Quail/Pheasants are owned by the
users who are responsible for maintenance of their vehicles.
- The interfaces between Baz and Quail/Pheasant
are limited to mechanical and communications, not power or fluids. The Baz
locks onto the Quail/Pheasant structure, not its tires. There
are no Quail/Pheasant/guideway interfaces.
- The Quail/Pheasants enter and leave the
system at suburban PAT stops (ground level, not elevated) with
- Passengers may enter or leave the Quail/Pheasantsat
any PAT stop, but if they leave the Quail/Pheasant on the
guideway, the Quail/Pheasant owner will have to pay valet
parking rates for the Baz to take the Quail/Pheasant to
- The Bazs can detach from the Quail/Pheasantsin
a garage and leave the Quail/Pheasants there.
- If a Quail/Pheasant is in a garage, the
owner will have to go to a PAT stop and enter his card in the card
reader (credit card pay telephone) to ask for his Quail/Pheasant to
be brought back. This will take a while.
- The Quail/Pheasants have retractable
wheels and computers with vehicle health monitoring and communications
functions. The Quail wheels retract like aircraft landing gear
to reduce vehicle size and aerodynamic drag. The Pheasant wheels
raise on long-travel suspensions to reduce aerodynamic drag.
- Mating/demating operation:
Quail/Pheasant failure responses:
- a. The Quail/Pheasant enters a landing
and aligns itself to the guideway.
- b. TheQuail/Pheasant communicates to the Baz
computer (by radio, infrared or other technology) the owner/vehicle
identification, desired destination stop, and vehicle health status
(battery charge, doors locked, etc.).
- c. The Baz computer communicates to
the central PAT routing/billing computer for confirmation of readiness
to accept the Quail/Pheasant into the system.
- d. The central computer accepts the Quail/Pheasantand
gives the Baz routing information.
- e. The Baz moves into position to mate
with the Quail/Pheasant and communicates readiness for mating.
- f. The Baz locks on and theQuail/Pheasant
retracts its wheels. The computers confirm that the doors and Quail/Pheasant
suspension are locked.
- g. The Baz goes to the destination
stop in the same way as any other PAT vehicle.
- h. After demating in a landing the Baz
moves out of the way and the Quail/Pheasant leaves the landing.
- Failure - wheels won't retract on landing.
Response - demate from Baz and drive to maintenance facility
- Failure - wheels won't deploy on landing.
Response - Baz takes Quail/Pheasant to maintenance
facility on guideway.
- Failure - suspension stuck part way down so
mate or demate can't be accomplished. Response - send emergency repair
team to clear landing.
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This page last updated June 1, 2003