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Cabin Control Panel

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.

Dualmode operations

The Higherway skyhook dualmode system is planned to have the following characteristics:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The Quail/Pheasants are owned by the users who are responsible for maintenance of their vehicles.
  4. 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.
  5. The Quail/Pheasants enter and leave the system at suburban PAT stops (ground level, not elevated) with "landings".
  6. 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 a garage.
  7. The Bazs can detach from the Quail/Pheasantsin a garage and leave the Quail/Pheasants there.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Mating/demating operation:
  11. Quail/Pheasant failure responses:

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This page last updated June 1, 2003