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Title:
AUTOMATED VEHICLE CONVEYANCE APPARATUS TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/070799
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The disclosed Personal Mass Transit (PMT) system utilizes a removable vehicle conveyance apparatus and method for conveying transit vehicle car-pods and their contents from one transit station to another autonomously. Vehicle conveyance apparatus are stored off-line in storage silos and other areas awaiting on-demand transit system instruction to pickup vehicles at loading points and convey them to different stations as requested by occupants or pre-programmed instructions. The PMT system further utilizes a plurality of transmitter-receivers nodes and control computers to manage all aspects of operation of the transportation system. Any number of different types of PMT vehicles could ride the transit system when equipped with the correct coupling points and remain under the maximum combined curb weight of any particular area or type of transit track in order to be transported on the PMT system. Personal Mass Transit allows for complete freedom of travel. There are no scheduled trains to make or miss and no bridge tolls to wait in line for, thus reducing the need to own a car at all. Many types of PMT transit stations are included in the scope of the invention, some as simple as a loading track while others large enough to accommodate car-pods in stand-by mode parked together charging on-board batteries. Personal Mass Transit is an on-demand public mass transit system with both public and privately owned vehicle car-pods. Personal Mass Transit allows for individual schedules, private compartments and hands-free commuting. The transit system offers an efficient way to move people and commerce in a compact manner and store transport apparatus in silos away from the track system to additionally minimize space and environmental impact. The elevated tracks are protected from inclement weather with a protective weather shroud that would also offer a mounting place for solar collectors to help power the system during the day. The daily commute becomes a sanctuary of privacy and comfort as car-pods fly along transit tracks with riders reading the morning paper and drinking a cup of coffee; commuters are free to do as they please while automated transit does the driving.

More Like This:
WO/2011/117455VEHICLE
JPS5229013MONORAIL CARRIAGE
Inventors:
LACABE, Keith Andrew (350 Molimo Drive, San Francisco, CA, 94127, US)
Application Number:
US2012/063986
Publication Date:
May 16, 2013
Filing Date:
November 07, 2012
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
LACABE, Keith Andrew (350 Molimo Drive, San Francisco, CA, 94127, US)
International Classes:
B61B13/04; B61B15/00; B61J1/12
Foreign References:
US20110218697A1
US20110061559A1
US5289778A
US7561948B2
US7975620B2
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VINCENT, Lester J. et al. (Blakely, Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman LLP,1279 Oakmead Parkwa, Sunnyvale CA, 94085, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An on-demand personalized mass transit system that conveys a passenger between two transit stations, the system comprising:

the two transit stations, wherein at least one of the two transit stations is coupled to a roadway;

a transit track coupled between the two transit stations;

a car-pod that carries the passenger, the car-pod includes a roadway self-propulsion mechanism enabling the car-pod to independently travel over the roadway; and

a vehicle conveyance apparatus that carries the car-pod, the vehicle conveyance apparatus including a transit track self-propulsion mechanism that propels the vehicle conveyance apparatus along the transit track.

2. The on-demand personalized mass transit system of claim 1 , wherein the transit track is a closed system track.

3. The on-demand personalized mass transit system of claim 2, wherein the transit track is an elevated track.

4. The on-demand personalized mass transit system of claim 1 , wherein the at least one of the two transit stations is selected from the group consisting of an embarkation station and a disembarkation station.

5. The on-demand personalized mass transit system of claim I, further comprising:

a vehicle conveyance apparatus silo that stores a plurality of vehicle conveyance apparatus.

6. The on-demand personalized mass transit system of claim 1, wherein the vehicle conveyance apparatus is coupled to another vehicle conveyance apparatus carrying another car-pud, and the vehicle conveyance coupled to the another vehicle conveyance apparatus travel coupled together as a transit vehicle pod-train.

7. The on-demand personalized mass transit system of claim 1, further comprising:

a pick-point switcher that switches the vehicle conveyance apparatus from the transit track to another transit track, wherein the vehicle conveyance apparatus is switched while carrying the car-pod.

8. A vehicle conveyance apparatus to convey a car-pod carrying a passenger along a transit track between two end stations, the vehicle conveyance apparatus comprising:

a chassis;

a self-propulsion mechanism, coupled to the chassis, the self-propulsion mechanism configured to independently convey the vehicle conveyance apparatus along the transit track

a car-pod coupling mechanism, coupled to the chassis, the car-pod coupling mechanism to securely couple the car-pod to the vehicle conveyance apparatus, wherein the car-pod is capable to independently travel over a roadway coupled to the transit track; and a transit track coupling mechanism, coupled to the self-propulsion mechanism, the transit track coupling mechanism configured to couple the vehicle conveyance apparatus to the transit track.

9. The vehicle conveyance apparatus of claim 8, wherein the self-propulsion mechanism comprises:

a drive wheel to propel the vehicle conveyance apparatus along the transit track; and a drive motor to power the drive wheel.

10. The vehicle conveyance apparatus of claim 8, wherein the self-propulsion mechanism is capable to move the vehicle conveyance apparatus forward and backward.

1 1. The vehicle conveyance apparatus of claim 8, further comprising:

a power receiver to receive power wirelessly from the transit track.

12. The vehicle conveyance apparatus of claim 8, further comprising:

a command and control module to operate the vehicle conveyance apparatus.

13. The vehicle conveyance apparatus of claim 8, further comprising: a pick-point loadingunloading point, wherein the pick-point loading/unloading point is used b a pick-point switcher to transfer the vehicle conveyance apparatus to another transit track.

14. The vehicle conveyance apparatus of claim 8, further comprising:

a support wheel, coupled to the chassis, to carry a weight of the vehicle conveyance apparatus.

15. The vehicle conveyance apparatus of claim 14, wherein the support wheel further carries a weight of the carried car-pod.

1 . A car-pod to carry a passenger between a beginning destination to an ending destination, the car-pod comprising:

a chassis;

a vehicle conveyance coupling mechanism, coupled to the chassis, the vehicle conveyance coupling mechanism to securely couple the car-pod to a vehicle conveyance apparatus, wherein the coupled car-pod conveys along a transit track propelled by the vehicle conveyance apparatus; and

a self-propulsion mechanism, coupled to the chassis, the self-propulsion mechanism to independently propel the car-pod along a roadway if the car-pod is uncoupled from the vehicle conveyance apparatus.

Description:
AUTOMATED VEHICLE CONVEYANCE APPARATUS TRANSPORTATION

SYSTEM

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[00011 Applicant claims the henefit of priority of prior, co-pending provisional application Serial No. 61/556,741, filed November 7, 2011, the entirety of which is incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0002] The invention disclosed herein relates in general to the field of transportation, and more particularly, to the autonomous conveyance of vehicles carrying people and commerce along tracks using detachable, self-conveyed apparatus.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

10003] Public mass transit is a good way to move a lot of people at one time. Established modes of public transportation are reliable and convenient tor many daily transit

riders. Except during the busiest of commute hours, scats are available and the mass transit systems run on time. If a rider wants to go somewhere, they simply walk to a bus stop or train station at a specific time, pay a transit fee, get on-board, and the transit

ensues. Schedules are set at specific intervals and carriages are usually big enough to accommodate sitting and standing riders in the same place. While this is the established mode of public transportation, a better public mass transit system would allow riders to choose their own departure time and provide a way to get to and from the transit station.

[0004] Recently, new types of on-demand car rentals systems have come of age. For a modest price, you can pick-up a car from a local parking lot and use it for as long as you want and then return it to a parking lot. This makes getting to and from places easier and circumvents the burden of owning a car. An on-demand car, however, does not prevent the driver from sitting in grid-lock during rush hour or give drivers any added incentive to ride public mass transit. Public mass transit also suffers from a proximity issue; people simply do not like to sit next to people they do not know. Tn America, as well as most other countries, people do not like to share their personal space and will gladly add hours to a daily commute in order to prevent it. While personal space would be considered an important reason daily commuters do not use public mass transportation, waiting for the scheduled arrivals and departures of trains, buses and streetcars can discourage mass transportation for most would- be riders. Tn addition, the roads are clogged with people in cars, the freeways are overcrowded with commuters spending countless hours sitting in stop and go traffic and public mass transportation systems are still based on large carriages carrying large amounts of people crowded together in the same place. Even the few on-demand systems being developed suffer from the fact that the transportation pods crowd the rail system while not in use, thus, forcing the rail system to secure large amounts of pod storage space. As self- driving, self-aware, vehicles take to the streets in the near future, not even they can overcome the overcrowded expressways. Many auto companies have started to adopt the new sclf- aware automobile safety features; cars that stop on their own, cars that warn the driver of impending danger or even wake a sleepy driver are all on the market as features. While this will make the commute safer, it will not solve the problems of crowded public mass transit or congested freeways.

SUMMARY OF THE DESCRIPTION

[0005] The automated vehicle conveyance apparatus transportation system is an on- demand transportation system to convey people and commerce along a network of transit closed tracks comprised of removable sclf-propcllcd vehicle conveyance apparatus, removable self-propelled vehicle car-pods, loading and unloading stations, transit tracks, offline apparatus storage silos, area network computer control and monitoring systems.

[0006J The automated vehicle conveyance apparatus system is also known as Personal Mass Transit (PMT). Personal Mass Transit is an automated, on-demand, mass transit system utilizing a plurality of removable vehicle conveyance apparatus, a plurality of removable vehicle car-pods with system interfaces, a plurality of local and wide-area network tracks, a plurality of track switching systems, a plurality of computer control systems, a plurality of vehicle tracking systems, a plurality of back-up systems, a plurality of off-line conveyance apparatus storage silos, a reservation system and an all-weather track shroud with built-in solar collectors. The PMT system safely and efficiently moves people and their belongings from a departure station to a destination station in vehicle car-pods, which are temporarily coupled to a vehicle conveyance apparatus. Drivers become riders as each individual car-pod is conveyed autonomously while coupled to a vehicle conveyance apparatus along the transit track. In one embodiment of the automated vehicle conveyance transit system, riders drive a car-pod to a transit station where they are coupled to a vehicle conveyance apparatus that is suspended from an elevated transit track, where the vehicle conveyance apparatus is autonomously loaded onto the transit track network and conveyed to the destination station chosen by the rider.

10007| In this embodiment, the car-pods are not stored on the transit track system, which lessens the environmental impact or need to secure large amounts of storage space in crowded urban areas or build-out large storage tracks. Even in suburban areas, where large amounts of transit vehicle storage space might be easier to secure, the large amounts of storage space for the car-pods is not needed. Each car-pod is only temporarily coupled to the vehicle conveyance apparatus allowing the car-pod to drive to a transit station for loading and drive away from the destination station once it is unloaded. [0008J In one embodiment, the transit traffic using the PMT system is on-demand, because there are is not a schedule or timeline to adhere to. Commuters arrive at a transit load-point in a car-pod and are loaded onto the transit track network for automated, hands- free, transportation. This can save energy and environmental pollution by not operating unneeded buses or trains that run on pre-determined schedules. This is because each car-pod navigates the transit system as needed. In addition, the vehicle conveyance apparatus can exit the transit tracks and move to storage silos where the vehicle conveyance apparatus stack vertically one on top of the other. The vehicle conveyance apparatus stacking further minimizes environmental impact on surrounding areas and eliminates the need to secure large amounts of on-line carriage storage of car-pod space. Other on-demand transit systems have been proposed, but no solution has been found to relieve the urban and suburban area storage space issue. Previous on-demand transit systems require on-line storage of trains or transit carriages without regard to overall system impact, convenience, or cost.

[0009] The space saving nature of the PMT system is further illustrated because the vehicle conveyance apparatus storage silos can be built as high or dug as deep as needed to service a particular area of the transit system while also keeping the conveyance apparatus close to transit load and unload points. Not requiring large amounts of on-line vehicle conveyance apparatus storage space also allows for the loading and unloading stations to be modest in size, because the loading and unloading vehicle conveyance apparatus points need not be greatly larger than the size of the transit car-pod being conveyed and track it is loaded onto or off of.

fOOlO] Tn one embodiment, street drivable public and privately owned lightweight car- pods are utilized in the PMT. Currently, public mass transit systems are not designed to accommodate drivable car-pods regardless of ownership. Public car-pods would be available at public parking areas and the like, similar to modern membership-based car sharing systems, which turns any city into a giant parking lot for the transit system while also allowing for easy pickup and drop-off. In addition, drivable car-pods that can be parked any number of places helps to alleviate the last mile of transit problem. If a local mass transit system allowed a person to keep their seat once they arrived at the transit stop, that person could then drive their seat, in the form of a car-pod to their final destination and park it Thus, the rider's journey is over when they say it is over, not before,

f 0011 ] In one embodiment, the PMT system is a compact, lightweight, detachable, vehicle conveyance apparatus transportation system to move people and commerce autonomously along a network of elevated tracks. The PMT system is an on-demand high efficiency transit system allowing riders privacy and ease of use while lowering energy use, lessening environmental impact and casing congested freeways.

[0012J Further aspects of the invention will become apparent from consideration of the drawings and the ensuing description of preferred embodiments of the invention. A person skilled in the art will realize that other embodiments of the invention are possible and that the details of the invention can be modified in a number of respects, all without departing from the inventive concept Thus, the following drawings and description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013J ' The present invention is illustrated by way of example and not limited to the figures of the accompanying drawings in which like references indicate similar elements.

[0014J Figs. 1A-B arc illustration- of embodiments of a lightweight electric two person, two wheeled vehicle car-pod.

[0015] Fig. 2 is an illustration of one embodiment of a transit system vehicle conveyance apparatus.

[00161 Fig. 3 is an illustration of a side view of one embodiment of a lightweight car-pod with a vehicle conveyance apparatus in a coupling position.

[00171 Fig. 4 is an illustration of a side view of one embodiment of a lightweight car-pod with a vehicle conveyance apparatus coupled and suspended from elevated monorail track.

[0018] Fig. 5 is an illustration of a side view cutaway of one embodiment of a vehicle conveyance apparatus.

[0019] Fig. 6 is an illustration of a front view cutaway of one embodiment of a vehicle conveyance apparatus.

[0020] Fig. 7 is an illustration of a front view of one embodiment of a two-way track support system with weather shroud and solar collectors attached.

(00211 Fig. 8 is an illustration of a side view of one embodiment of a two-way track support system with partial cutaway of weather shroud and solar collectors attached.

[0022] Fig. 9 is an illustration of a side view of one embodiment of a vehicle conveyance apparatus coupled of a lightweight car-pod with wheels in "fly-mode position" being conveyed on one embodiment of an elevated monorail track.

[0023] Fig. 10 is an illustration of a top view of one embodiment of a transit station that includes loading and unloading ramps, vehicle charging stalls, and vehicle conveyance apparatus storage.

[0024] Fig. 11 is an illustration of a side view cutaway of one embodiment of a transit apparatus storage silo with loading rail track, stacking bars, elevator stacldngTnechanism, and climate control system. [0025] Fig. 12 is an illustration of a front view cutaway of one embodiment of a transit apparatus storage silo with stacking bars, elevator stacking mechanism, and climate control system.

[0026] Fig. 13 is an illustration of a side view of one embodiment of a transit pod-train with two-way support towers and elevated monorail track system.

[0027] Fig. 14 is an illustration of a side view of one embodiment of parked transit car- pods with wheel assembly and vehicle chassis in standby-mode.

[0028] Fig. 15 is an illustration of front view of one embodiment of a lightweight car-pod with a vehicle conveyance apparatus in a coupling position.

[0029] Fig. 16 is an illustration of a front view of one embodiment of a lightweight car- pod coupled to a vehicle conveyance apparatus.

[0030] Fig. 17 is an illustration of a pick point apparatus used switch a car-pod from one track to another track.

[0031] Fig. 18A-C are illustrations of embodiments of a PMT metro-bogie.

[0032] Fig. 19A-B are illustrations of embodiments of car-pod structural support beam and car-pod conveyance assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

10033J A removable transit vehicle conveyance apparatus for transporting vehicles containing people and conunerce along a network of tracks creating a transportation system is described. The transportation system is comprised of a plurality of removable, self-propelled transit vehicle conveyance apparatus and similarly removable, self-propelled transit car-pods.

[0034] Reference in the specification to "one embodiment" or "an embodiment" means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment can be included in at least one embodiment of the invention. The appearances of the phrase "in one embodiment" in various places in the specification do not necessarily all refer to the same embodiment In the following description and claims, the terms "coupled" and "connected," along with their derivatives, may be used. It should be understood that these terms are not intended as synonyms for each other. "Coupled" is used to indicate that two or more elements, which may or may not be in direct physical or electrical contact with each other, co-operate or interact with each other. "Connected" is used to indicate the establishment of communication between two or more elements that are coupled with each other.

100351 In one embodiment, the public mass transit system provides a way to move a lot people at one time in an efficient manner and at the same time allow each rider to choose his or her own schedule. In addition to choosing their own schedule, this public mass transit system would also give each rider comfort amenities and their own personal space to commute in. Each rider or small group of riders would have their own personal carriage similar to automobile drivers. The rider would be tree to talk on the phone, catch-up on email, or simply take a nap in privacy. This public mass transit system would also provide a way for passengers to get to and from the transit hub without having to walk too far or take some other form of mass transit. By giving people their own space on their own schedule and the ability to get to and from a transit hub, public mass transit would be more attractive to more people, and would become personalized to each riders schedule and individual need.

[0036J The PMT system would also be scalable and adaptable to different types of mass transit requirements. In one embodiment, smaller private-campus style systems would work within the confines of a particular business campus or business park where walking distances have become too great and many workers do not want to ride a bicycle or drive from one locale to another. Tn addition, the private-campus system would allow for tracks leading to and from larger wide-area public network transit systems, but restrict movement to those authorized to commute within the private-system. n one embodiment, the PMT system would incorporate intra-city tracks used for local urban transportation with additional tracks that lead to high-speed city-to-city expressways. This PMT system can additionally include ultra high-speed maglev or other advanced propulsion enabled apparatus that would encapsulate the standard local system car-pod and load them onto specialized high-speed track networks connecting cities at greater distances.

[0037] In one embodiment, an automated vehicle conveyance via the PMT begins when drivers and riders arrive at transit stations (Figure 10) in car-pods (Figure 1, item 2). The driver uses an on-board system interface to select a destination station and is coupled to the vehicle conveyance apparatus. Each car-pod utilizes a secure locking mechanism to secure the car-pod to the vehicle conveyance apparatus (Figure 5, item 22). Once the car-pod has been securely coupled to the vehicle conveyance apparatus, the car-pod is loaded onto the elevated track system. The driver becomes a passenger as the transit system navigates the coupled car-pod autonomously to the passenger's chosen destination station. Once the desired destination station is reached, the transit system moves the vehicle conveyance apparatus and coupled car-pod to an off-load point and uncouples the car-pod. The driver takes back control of the car-pod and drives to their destination.

[0038] Figure 1 is an illustration of one embodiment of a two-wheeled vehicle car-pod capable of transporting people in side-view. In Figure I , the car-pod embodiment (item 2) can share many of the basic automobile design approaches found on other electric two-seater vehicles. For example and in one embodiment, the car-pod includes a chassis, an outer body, a locomotive device, energy storage, a braking mechanism, a steering mechanism, a number of tires, a number of safety features and so on, but the car-pod can have other technical elements and abilities not seen on standard street designated automobiles or pods. In one embodiment, the car-pod would have a number of different modes of operation: including, but not limited to: standby-mode, knccling-mode, street-mode, latch-mode, fly-mode, train- mode, pick-mode, manual fly-mode, maintcnaiicc-mode and silo-mode.

f0039] In one embodiment, in standby-mode the car-pod would moves the two vehicle support wheels (item 4) and the location assembly (Figure 19, item 7) on a structural frame member (Figure 19, item 6) in order to dtp part of the car-pod down and the other part of the car-pod up. This movement would lessen the overall lateral space the car-pod would require while in standby-mode (figure 14). In one embodiment, the car-pod stand-by mode can increase parking density by greater than two times. In one embodiment, a car-pod in standby-mode can charge an electrical retention device on-board the car-pod using a wireless energy transfer technology (item 60). For example, in one embodiment, a power source is placed below a power receiver unit inside the car-pod where power is captured and retained. ΙΓ a battery is used to store energy on (he car-pod, the bailery is charged while (he car-pod is in standby-mode.

10040] In one embodiment, another mode of operation of the car-pod is kneeling-mode. In kneeling-mode the two vehicle support wheels (item 4) moves to a position that stabilizes the vehicle to case the loading and unloading of passengers. The car-pod doors would open while in kneeling-mode, allowing passengers to enter or exit the car-pod. In one embodiment, another mode of the car-pod is street-mode. While in street-mode, the car-pod operates like an ordinary car. In one embodiment, the required safety features and standard passenger amenities are included in the car-pod and vehicle top speed would be determined by specific model types and features, in one embodiment, street-mode allows the driver of the car-pod to navigate roads, streets, priority vehicle lanes or any combination thereof, without the necessity of being loaded onto the transit rail system,

f 0041] Tn one embodiment, another mode of the car-pod is latch-mode. Tn this embodiment, latch-modc is used to couple the car-pod to a vehicle conveyance apparatus (Figure 2, item 12) at a transit load-point. In latch-mode the car-pod is prepared for automated travel using the vehicle conveyance apparatus. In one embodiment, the car-pod vehicles can be equipped with a number of safety monitoring devices to ensure the vehicle is safe for automated transit prior to coupling with a vehicle conveyance apparatus. Once the car-pod has been cleared for automated travel, the PMT operational control system would take control of the car-pod, moving the car-pod to the load point where a vehicle conveyance apparatus would have been dispatched. The PMT operational control system aligns and securely couples the car-pod and the vehicle conveyance apparatus. In one embodiment, once secured to the vehicle conveyance apparatus, the car-pod enters lly-mode, where the car-pod manual driving controls are no longer needed. In the embodiment, the car-pod becomes a private cabin suspended below the vehicle conveyance apparatus while the car- pod is autonomously transported to the passenger's chosen destination station. Local convenience systems on-board the car-pod would be available to the passengers occupying the vehicle while in fly-mode, with the possible exception of any included system that might hinder the safe transport of the car-pod or its contents. Since the passenger is free from the burden or responsibility of driving they can do as they please. In one embodiment, the car- pod transports one or more passengers. In one embodiment, Internet connectivity would be provided to all car-pods, which would enable riders to work or play while in transit. In one embodiment, once the car-pod arrives at the destination station, the car-pod would re-enter the latch-mode while the car-pod is un-couplcd from the vehicle conveyance apparatus. The car-pod would re-enter street-mode by returning the standard driving controls to the driver allowing the car-pod to be driven away from the transit station and navigate public roads once again.

[00421 In one embodiment, many different types of car-pods would be available for the personal mass transit system, for example and in one embodiment, the types ot * car-pods could be lightweight transit vehicles, wheelchair accessible transit vehicles, ultra-lightweight individual car-pods for heavy payloads (e.g. weight challenged people, etc). These and other types of car-pods can either be personally owned or system owned for public on-demand use. Tn one embodiment, publically accessible car-pods would be part of a larger subscription based mass transit system. The car-pods would be parked (figure 14) and charged (Figure 1 , item 60) awaiting use in public parking lots and at transit hubs. Because, public parking lots are situated citywide, the car-pods can be available within a short walk, similar to many other subscription based car-sharing systems. (0043] In one embodiment, privately owned vehicles would be maintained by the owner and be required to meet the PMT system requirements. In this embodiment, both publicly and privately maintained car-pods, would provide mass transit without schedules or crowded compartments, because movement on the system tracks would be considered on-demand and the running of scheduled buses and trains would be eliminated, thus, saving energy and overall system costs.

Γ0Θ44] In one embodiment, as self-driving cars become more refined and adopted, the car-pod would include a driverless-mode that allows the car-pod to drive itself to the transit loading station for coupling to a vehicle conveyance apparatus tor transit to a destination station. After reaching its destination station, the car-pod would be un-coupled from the vehicle conveyance apparatus entering driverless-mode before navigating itself wherever the passenger has designated as the final stop.

[0045] In one embodiment, included in the car-pod is a PMT system control interface, where this control interface would be used to enter the desired destination location and specific transit route if desired. The PMT system control interface would also include a camera, a speaker and microphone for occupant interaction and feedback. In one embodiment, this interactive interface would be a multi-function display device capable of keeping the occupant of the car-pud apprised of vehicle location on transit system, estimated time of arrival, vehicle speed, vehicle mode of operation, billing information, vehicle conformity status, apparatus conformity status, vehicle maintenance record, any pertinent updates affecting the PMT transit system, advertisements and other mtbrmahon. In one embodiment, the car-pod can include options like inertia dampeners and smart windows.

[0046] Figure 3 is an illustration of one embodiment of the vehicle conveyance apparatus and car-pod in side-view. The vehicle conveyance apparatus (item 12) is shown suspended from an elevated transit track (item 29) ready to couple with the car-pod (item 2). The car- pod is shown below the vehicle conveyance apparatus in latch-mode ready to be coupled. The car-pod coupling mechanism (item 52) would be activated and ready to receive the apparatus coupling mechanism (item 22). [0047] Figure 4 is an illustration of one embodiment of the conveyance apparatus and car-pod in the coupled position. In Figure 4, the car-pod has been securely locked to the vehicle conveyance apparatus and lifted from the ground in preparation for automated transit. The coupled pair would temporarily be considered a single unit as they navigate the transit track system from embarkation station to disembarkation station. The vehicle conveyance apparatus and the car-pod use secure coupling mechanism for safe transit. The temporary coupling of the car-pod and the conveyance apparatus is complete when the locking mechanism, utilizing both electromechanical and visual locking status indicators, is rally engaged. In one embodiment, the coupled car-pod and vehicle conveyance apparatus is then conveyed autonomously along any number of secondary, ancillary or loading tracks en route to any number of primary or express tracks, using track switching mechanisms as well as pick-point loading/unloading mechanisms (item 54). In one embodiment the car-pod would remain in fly-mode for the duration of automated travel unless an emergency situation arises and manual fly-mode is engaged. Manual fly-mode would allow the occupant of the car-pod to manually operate the vehicle conveyance apparatus to an exit point in the event of a system malfunction; each car-pod would have, as part of its interface, a computing means capable of safely operating the conveyance apparatus on the transit track in the event of an emergency.

[0048] Figure 5 is an illustration of an embodiment of the vehicle conveyance apparatus in cutaway side view. In Figure 5, the vehicle conveyance apparatus (item 12) comprises support wheels (item 16), drive wheels (item 14), structural chassis members (item l)braking mechanism (item IS), an aerodynamic housing (item 10), primary and backup command and control modules (item 26), a coupling mechanism (item 22), a number pick-point loading unloading points (item 54), an auxiliary power circuit (item 36), a battery supply (item 28), a number of proximity sensors (item 24), transmitting antennas (item 50), and tow- point attachments (item 58). In one embodiment, the conveyance apparatus support wheels (item 16) carry the weight of the vehicle conveyance apparatus as well as the combined weight of the coupled transit vehicle and contents while on the track system. The support wheels are attached to one or more of the structural chassis members (item 1). The structural chassis (item 1 ) is comprised of structural members providing support for the conveyance apparatus, and a coupled transit vehicle or similar payload. The vehicle conveyance apparatus drive wheels (item 16) arc the primary source of locomotion for typical car-pod conveyance. In the embodiment, each drive wheel is connected to a drive motor (item 20). The drive wheel propels the conveyance apparatus forward or backward as commanded by the command and control module (item 26). While a separate braking mechanism will be disclosed, it is noted that in one embodiment, the drive wheel or drive wheels arc attached to permanent magnet motors as the primary source of locomotion for the conveyance apparatus; allowing for the capture of kinetic energy through the use of a regenerative braking system during braking. The captured kinetic energy is returned to the transit system or stored in the on-board battery of the car-pod through the auxiliary power circuit (item 36) by way of the coupling mechanism (item 22).

[0049] In one embodiment, the command and control module (item 26) on-board the vehicle conveyance apparatus comprise the general and specific operations required to operate the vehicle conveyance apparatus. In one embodiment, control signals are received from local track nodes (Figure 7, item 35) and transferred to the vehicle conveyance apparatus command module. The Operations of the vehicle conveyance apparatus include, but are not limited to, latch-mode operations, locking mechanism control, locking mechanism status, vehicle ready status, track loading operations, ancillary track navigation, local area track navigation, express route track navigation, pick-point track switching operations, car- pod status, car-pod override status, destination station status, destination route preferences, destination route status, speed control, braking control, proximity status and control, train- mode nestle status and control, weight sensor command routine, maintenance scheduler, silo- mode stand-by routine, manual override, route authentication routine and emergency status and control routines.

[00501 In one embodiment, operational status feedback is transmitted to the local track nodes (Figure 7, item 35) tor real-time updates of every vehicle conveyance apparatus and car-pod on the transit network. In this embodiment, each vehicle conveyance apparatus and car-pod is uniquely identified, allowing for individual unit tracking, multiple unit management, and autonomous movement within any part of the track system. In one embodiment, the coupling mechanism (item 22) on the vehicle conveyance apparatus comprises a structural piece with a number of locking points, where the structural pieces with locking points enables the temporary secure coupling of the vehicle conveyance apparatus and the car-pod. In one embodiment, each coupling point utilizes both electromechanical and/or visual indicators to ensure a secure coupling. In one embodiment, the station load points will confirm lock status using both methods prior to automated conveyance. In one embodiment, the tow-points (item 58) are included as part of the vehicle conveyance apparatus chassis in the event that the primary and backup command and control modules (item 26) systems have failed. In one embodiment, a braking mechanism (iteml 5) is attached to the support wheels to slow the vehicle conveyance apparatus as commanded by the command and control module.

[00511 Figure 6 is an illustration of one embodiment of the conveyance apparatus viewed from the front in cutaway. In Figure 6, the apparatus comprises drive wheels (item 14), structural chassis members (item 1), an aerodynamic housing (item 10) command and control modules (item 26), a coupling mechanism (item 22) and a number of drive motors (item 20). In one embodiment, a primary power receiver (item 38) receives transfers electricity from the energized track system wirelessly. In one embodiment, wireless power transmission technology is used to transfer power wirelessly from inside the transit track itself to receivers inside the conveyance apparatus. Power is distributed within the conveyance apparatus and, if needed, to any auxiliary power needs of the car-pod. In the event the primary power source becomes interrupted, the auxiliary power source is made available to the conveyance apparatus by way of the auxiliary power circuit (item 36) built in to the coupling mechanism (item 22) that secures the car-pod and the vehicle conveyance apparatus. In one embodiment, by being able to power the vehicle conveyance apparatus, the auxiliary power circuit can supply electrical services used by the car-pod while in transit. In one embodiment, each vehicle conveyance apparatus has redundant command and control systems, redundant telemetric systems, self-diagnostic systems and back-up systems as well as other systems. 10052 J b ' igure 7 is an illustration of one embodiment of a two-way PMT track support system in front view. In Figure 7, the support tower is shown by way of example. In one embodiment, the PMT track support system includes horizontal supports (item 31), track hangers (item 33), a transit track (item 29), a track stiffener (item 37), a weather shroud (item 25), a layer of solar collectors (item 23), a primary power source (item 27) and a transmitter- receiver communications node (item 5). While in one embodiment, the track support system, as illustrated, provides support tor the track hangers, in alternate-embodiments the track supports are not limited to track towers as shown (eg. the horizontal extension that supports the track hangers can be attached to buildings, bridges, elevated freeways, highways and/or other places). Many variations of the track support system will occur to those skilled in the art. The track hangers support the transit track. Many variations of the track hangers will occur to those skilled in the art.

[0053] In one embodiment, the track stiffener is used to stiffen the tracks and can also be used to prevent the vehicle conveyance apparatus from swaying too far in either lateral direction should the car-pod become unstable or unbalanced during transit. In one embodiment, the primary source of power for the vehicle conveyance apparatus resides inside the PMT track. In an alternate embodiment, different variations of wireless power can be used that transfer power from one location to another without physical contact In one embodiment, wireless transfer of power removes the need to have an electric "third rail," saving build-out costs and conveyance apparatus maintenance.

[0054] In one embodiment, the energized PMT track transfers power to receivers inside the vehicle conveyance apparatus where the power is used to operate the apparatus and supply power to the auxiliary circuit. In one embodiment, the elevated PMT track will allow for many types of usage, including, but not limited to, loading ramps, unloading ramps, ancillary ramps, right-of-way tracks, local tracks, holding tracks, express tracks, high-speed tracks, ultra high-speed tracks, storage silos ramps, tnaintcnancc facilities ramps, personal use tracks, scenic tracks, manual control tracks and other types of ramps and tracks. In one embodiment, the track support system includes a weather shroud. The weather shroud is attached to the top of the track stiffener (item 37), and is used to protect the PMT track from debris or inclement weather. The weather shroud further serves as a mounting place for the included solar collectors. In one embodiment, the solar collectors are flexibl and adhered to the top of the weather shroud in areas accessible to sunlight In one embodiment, the PMT track system utilizes local transmitter-receiver nodes as part of a larger array of sensors and tracking methods in order to process and control each vehicle conveyance apparatus. In one embodiment, these local transmitter-receiver nodes are placed ulong the system tracks to transmit and receive command signals that are evaluated and authenticated prior to control instructions being given to the individual command and control nodules on-board each conveyance apparatus. The use of local transmitter-receiver nodes keeps command response time to a minimum and adds redundancy to the overall control system. In one embodiment, although each local transmitter-receiver node communicates directly with a narrow-area computer control system, each narrow-area computer control system in turn communicates with a wide-area computer control system in order to track and respond to system demands as well as anticipating future needs of specific areas based on transit patterns. The local, narrow and wide area control systems approach offers a variety of ways to track each uniquely identified vehicle conveyance apparatus on the system. For example in one embodiment- should a single communication node or control system become disabled, the built-in redundancy allows the system to continue functioning while the disabled system is repaired. Tn one embodiment, in the event of a system wide or area blackout, an emergency status is triggered, where each vehicle conveyance apparatus on the track network would

automatically identify itself to any functional transmitter-receiver node and broadcast its destination station. In addition, other vehicle conveyance apparatus on the track system would access its own on-board memory for its originally selected destination station and broadcast it as well In this embodiment, each conveyance apparatus is capable of triggering local track switches in order to navigate itself to its chosen destination without aid from an area computer system. In one embodiment, in the event all control systems become disabled, the emergency status would switch to a manual mode, giving limited control of the conveyance apparatus to occupants,

[0055] The local, narrow, and wide area control systems approach also offers a variety of ways to track system usage and car-pod location whether those components are on the system tracks or not. In other words, if hundreds of car-pods are on the cast side of town near a transit load-point, there should be hundreds of vehicle conveyance apparatus in storage silos also on the east side of town. In one embodiment, the PMT system is programmed, within certain tolerances, to provide enough vehicle conveyance apparatus to a general area based on usage history, upcoming reservations, and incoming on-demand requests.

[0056] Figure 8 is an illustration of one embodiment of a two-way PMT track support system disclosed in cutaway side view. In Figure 8, the PMT track support system is comprised of horizontal supports (item 31), track hangers (item 33), a transit track (item 29), a weather shroud (item 25), a layer of solar collectors (item 23), and a transmitter-receiver communications node (item 35).

[0057] Figure 9 is an illustration of one embodiment of a vehicle conveyance apparatus with car-pod in transit in partial cutaway side view. In Figure 9, the vehicle conveyance apparatus (item 12) is shown in fly-mode. The vehicle conveyance apparatus (12) is illustrated in transit and hanging from the PMT track (item 29) and the coupled car-pod (item 2) below. In one embodiment, the local area use PMT vehicle conveyance apparatus utilizes dual direct-drive motors to convey the apparatus and coupled car-pod. The coupled pair navigates the PMT track network while the transmit-receive node (item 35) on the track support system communicates and tracks each uniquely identified apparatus from load-point station to destination un-load point station. Figure 9 also shows on embodiment of a weather shroud (item 25) and attached solar collectors (item 23) in partial cutaway side view.

[0058] Figure 10 is an illustration of one embodiment of a PMT station in top view. In one embodiment, there can be many different types of PMT stations available for transportation, including small transit stations, loading and unloading points, large transit hubs, and others. While smaller transit stations might not be large enough to store the PMT apparatus, storage silos would be located near-by in order to pick-u and drop-off car-pods quickly. In one embodiment, larger stations and transit hubs would be large enough to store car-pods and/or vehicle conveyance apparatus. In one embodiment, future lightweight vehicles and pods wanting to ride on the PMT system would need to be equipped with system compatible secure locking points, system compatible command interface, and/or meet system safety and operation requirements. In one embodiment, each PMT system would have multiple transit stations to load and unload vehicles from the PMT tracks. In one embodiment, intra-city connections as well as tracks to suburban areas and beyond would ensure access to different types of riders, commerce and vehicle conveyance apparatus.

[0059J In one embodiment, the PMT station is illustrated with a load unload point (item 41) where car-pods are loaded and an unloaded point (item 42) where the car- pods are unloaded depending on whether the car-pod is departing the load point or arriving at the unload point. Many combinations of load unload point stations, hubs or single transit tracks can be imaged by those skilled in the art allowing tor ease of traffic and system on-demand requirements. In one embodiment, the PMT station illustrated includes one embodiment of a serpentine track section (item 45) intended to store vehicle conveyance apparatus for on- demand requests. In the embodiment, the vehicle conveyance apparatus would stack behind one another in preparation for coupling with car-pods as they arrive at the station for immediate departure. Also included in the embodiment shown are car-pod parking charging stalls (item 43) that are used in the event that riders arrive at a PMT station without having picked-up a car-pod in advance. In the embodiment, the riders would be able to use their transit card or key-fob, like any other car-pod pick-up location, and secure a car-pod for immediate loading and departure, in one embodiment, a PMT station, whether the PMT station is a simple load-points or complex transit hubs where many tracks and routes would be available to riders, includes a weigh! scale (item 47) that is placed in front of the load- point to prevent over-weight vehicles from loading onto the track system. Further, automated vehicle control would begin as early as possible to ensure timely coupling of arriving vehicle car-pods, nuniirnzing the need for large waiting rooms or costly infrastructure.

[0060] Figure 1 1 is an illustration of, one embodiment of a vehicle conveyance apparatus storage silo in a cutaway side view. In Figure 11, the storage silo (item 30) comprises a track rail or rails (item 29) that leads to the transit track system where the track rail is a conduit on which each vehicle conveyance apparatus transverses to and from the storage silo. In one embodiment, the conveyance apparatus stacking bars (item 34) are connected to an automated elevator stacking mechanism (item 32) allowing for multiple units to be moved at one time. In the embodiment, each stacking bar is temporarily aligned with the loading track rail (item 29) receive or dispatch a vehicle conveyance apparatus as requested. In addition, each stacking bar would further include wireless power transmission in order to operate the apparatus and charge the battery while in the silo. Furthermore, the elevator mechanism either lowers or raises each stacking bar in order to receive or dispatch vehicle conveyance apparatus. A climate control system (item 56) is included to keep the storage silo at a predetermined temperature and humidity level in order to provide a constant, predictable climate tor the storage of vehicle conveyance apparatus while waiting demand. In one embodiment, the P T vehicle conveyance apparatus storage silos can be dug into the earth or built up into a silo above ground depending on system opportunities or limitations. The climate control system allows either type of storage silo to be as space efficient

[0061] Figure 12 is an illustration of one embodiment of a vehicle conveyance apparatus storage silo in cutaway front view, in Figure 12,the storage silo (item 30) comprises a track rail or rails (item 29) that leads to the transit track system. In one embodiment, the track rail is the conduit on which each vehicle conveyance apparatus transverses to and from the storage silo. In one embodiment, stacking bars (item 34) are connected to an elevator stacking mechanism (item 32) allowing for multiple units to be moved at one time. In the embodiment, each stacking bar is temporarily aligned with the loading rail track to receive or dispatch a conveyance apparatus as requested. The elevator mechanism either lowers or raises each stacking bar in order to receive or dispatch vehicle conveyance apparatus. A climate control system (item 56) keeps the storage silo at a predetermined temperature and humidity level in order to provide a constant, predictable climate for the storage of vehicle conveyance apparatus while waiting demand.

[0062] Figure 13 is an illustration of one embodiment of a transit vehicle pod-train in side view. In Figure 13,thc PMT vehicle pod-train (item 18) is a plurality car-pods in transit fly- mode going the same direction on the transit rail (item 29) at the same time. For example, in one embodiment, the PMT vehicle pod-train can be used during busy commute hours, when express cracks are fully loaded. In this example, the PMT system moves multiple apr>aratus with coupled vehicle car-pods closer together to create virtual transit trains (Figure 13), which creates trains with lower wind resistance and increase system efficiency, while still allowing each commuter privacy. In one embodiment, the transit vehicle car-pods have the capability to dock with one another while in train-mode allowing passengers access to one another as if in the same vehicle. In this embodiment, this way, if families or parties of more than two want to travel together, the transit system would be instructed to position these car- pods in-line with each other.

[0063] Figure 14 is an illustration of one embodiment of parked vehicle car-pods in standby-mode in side view. In one embodiment, PMT vehicle car-pods (item 2) in standby- mode move the vehicle wheel assembly (Figure 20, item 7) within the chassis, while tilting the body of the vehicle upwards in order to lessen its overall length. The lessening of overall length allows for more car-pods to be parked in one place. In one embodiment with the car- pod in standby-mode, solar power from local solar panels is wirelessly transferred to the vehicle's battery tor charging while parked. This embodiment lessens the need of the transit system for power from the grid and lowers the systems overall environmental impact

[0064J Although some embodiments arc shown to include certain features, the applicants specifically contemplates that any feature disclosed herein may be used together or in combination with any other feature on any embodiment of the invention. It is also contemplated that any feature may be specifically excluded from any embodiment of the invention.

[0065] In one embodiment, the PMT system that allows users to request a car-pod at thcir residence, place of business, or any other predetermined location at a certain time. In one embodiment, the user uses an online reservation system to reserve a car-pod. In the embodiment, each car-pod would display or broadcast a reservation code like a beacon for users to match prior to presenting their key-fob or transit card for entry. In one embodiment, the car-pod would use sel f-guided driving technology and drive itself to the rendezvous point where the user swipes their transit card or key-fob, confirming identity, and reservation. In this embodiment, the PMT system is on automated car valet service arriving when needed and driving away when finished. In one embodiment, the PMT vehicles are optionally reserved or requested using PMT reservation system enabled devices, mcluding, but not limited to, computers, PDA's, cell phones, smart phones, curb-side kiosks, transit station kiosks and other reservation devices.

[0066] Figure 1 is an illustration of a partial cutaway front view of one embodiment of a vehicle conveyance apparatus with a car-pod in loading position. In one embodiment, the car- pod (item 2) is aligned with the vehicle conveyance apparatus (item 12), which is suspended from the P T transit track (item 29).

10067 J Figure 16 is an illustration of a partial cutaway front view of one embodiment of a vehicle conveyance apparatus with a coupled car-pod and suspended from a monorail transit track. In one embodiment, the car-pod (item 2) is coupled to a vehicle conveyance apparatus (item 12) and the vehicle conveyance apparatus (item 12) is suspended from a monorail transit track (item 29) for automated transportation.

|0068] Figure 17-is an illustration of a plan view of one embodiment of a pick-point track switching bogie and track layout in one embodiment, a pick-point bogie (item 71) and a circular track system (item 70) arc used to pick a moving vehicle conveyance apparatus (item 12) and its payload (item 2) from one PMT track (item 29) and move them to another PMT track (item 29). Tn this embodiment, the pick-point track switching is used so that a single car-pod and/or vehicle conveyance apparatus can be removed from a number of concurrently moving apparatus without slowing them down (or substantially slow them down). The vehicle conveyance apparatus to be removed enters a track switching area, exits normal fly-mode, and enters pick-mode. Once in pick-mode, the vehicle conveyance apparatus is ready to be removed from the transit track it is currently on. A pick-point bogie that is capable of picking-up the maximum weight allowed on the transit system and also of matching system speeds moves down a track section that is parallel to the track the vehicle conveyance apparatus is traveling on. Once the pick-point bogie has aligned itself with the vehicle conveyance apparatus, a number of support forks are moved into the apparatus chassis picking-up the combined weight of the vehicle conveyance apparatus and any coupled payload (e.g. car-pod) while also temporarily disengaging the apparatus support wheels and drive wheels. Once the weight of the vehicle conveyance apparatus and payload have been lifted and the vehicle conveyance apparatus wheels have been disengaged, the pick-point bogie moves the now coupled components to the other track. Once the other track has been aligned and confirmed the pick-point bogie removes the support forks and releases the vehicle conveyance apparatus onto the track which re-engages the wheel systems and reestablishes normal fly-mode operation. The transit track support (item 31) is used to support the weight of both track systems in the switching area. In one crnbodimcnt, the circular nature of the pick-point track system allows the pick-point bogies to perform their task repeatedly within the track switching area. For example and in one embodiment, a number of pick-point bogies would be stationed with the circular track in order to pick off a number of vehicle conveyance apparatus simultaneously.

[0069] Figure 19- A is an illustration of a car-pod structural support beam and car-pod conveyance assembly in side view. In one embodiment, the car-pod (item 2) has a structural support beam (item 6) that is part of the chassis. The car-pod conveyance assembly is housed in a unit (item 7) which enables it to transverse the structural beam, where the beams allows the support wheels (item 4) to move from a balanced street-mode position to an elevated position for transit fly-mode an anywhere in between.

[0070] Figure 19-B is an illustration of a car-pod structural support beam and car-pod conveyance assembly in rear view. In one embodiment, the car-pod (item 2) has a structural support beam (item 6) that is part of the chassis. The car-pod conveyance assembly is housed in a unit (item 7), which enables it to transverse the structural beam. In his embodiment allows the support wheels (item 4) to move from a balanced street-mode position to an elevated position tor transit track fly-mode and anywhere in between. The support beam also enables the wheels to be moved for parking-mode and loading-mode.

[0071] In one embodiment, the PMT system includes a modular car-pod body, where each vehicle car-pod has a modular removable body. Designed for systems or cabins requiring ultra-lightweight vehicle conveyance due to heavier than standard payloads, this embodiment utilizes vehicle bodies that separate from the chassis (where the vehicle's conveyance mechanism usually resides) at the point of coupling, allowing the body and the contents of the body to be transported independently from the chassis. While in one embodiment dual-drive electric motors are used to propel the vehicle conveyance apparatus, in alternate embodiments, a different type of propulsion is used (eg., maglcv locomotion, other advanced locomotion technology, etc.).

[0072J in one embodiment, standard local car-pods are encased in high-speed transit bogies utilizing maglev or similar advanced propulsion systems designed to ride on highspeed track systems without the occupants leaving their car-pod. In this embodiment, the transit bogies await car-pods on a transition track designed to receive car-pods already in transit. Transit bogies would match the speed of incoming car-pods and catch them with a separate coupling mechanism, where the transit bogies take over the services and control while transporting the car-pods at high-speed to the next city . The transit bogie transverses another transition track where it releases the car-pod back to a local area PMT track system.

[0073] Figure 18- A is an illustration of one embodiment of a PMT metro-bogie in side view. In one embodiment, the city to city PMT metro-bogie (item 61 ) uses high-speed PMT trucks (item 62) designed to transport people and coimnerce from one metro area to another metro area linking major cities and towns in between. Car-pods (item 2) traversing standard PMT track (item 29) enter a transition track where high-speed PMT tracks (item 62) are supported by track support systems (item 63). The PMT metro-bogie matches the speed of the incoming car-pod in preparation to couple with it- Riders in the car-pod would remain seated while the coupling of the systems takes place.

[0074] Figure 18-B is an illustration of one embodiment of a P MT metro-bogie coupled with a car-pod in side view. In one embodiment, the PMT metro-bogie (item 61) is conveyed using maglcv locomotion over high-speed maglev tracks (item 62) that are supported by a track support system (item 63). The car-pod (item 2) is coupled to the PMT metro-bogie and removed ( orn the standard PMT tracks (item 29). The PMT metro-bogie operations similarly to the PMT vehicle conveyance apparatus while conveying the car-pod over the longer distance. Figure 1 -C is an illustration of one embodiment of a PMT metro-bogie train in side view. In one embodiment, the PMT metro-bogies (item 61 ) move together while in highspeed transit creating virtual PMT metro-bogie trains (item 64) in order to increase speed and lower energy consumption, when possible, an aerodynamic tail section (item 65) would join the train to ensure maximum efficiency. The metro-bogie trains separate when needed in order tor individual car-pods (item 2) to be removed from the train when they have reached their destination city.

f(M ) 751 A number of safety features can be used including, but not limited to, safety grappling hooks that sire attached to the car-pod and pointed upwards and slightly in-wards in the event of a catastrophic derailment. In this embodiment the conveyance apparatus and car- pod are equipped with gravitation sensors that detect if the car-pod is falling from the track. In this event, the grappling hooks are shot skyward by a small explosive charge with the intent of wrapping around the transit track and arresting the downward trajectory of the car- pod. Tn one embodiment, another safety device for a catastrophic derailment utilizes exterior car-pod airbags (e.g. large airbags that are built into the exterior of the car-pod and deployed similarly to standard automobile airbags in the event the car-pod is detached from the vehicle conveyance apparatus or track system. The same on-board gravitational sensor would deploy the airbags outside the car-pod).

(00761 In one embodiment, emergency tow-bots are stationed track-side in the event a vehicle conveyance apparatus becomes disabled. In this embodiment, the emergency drone- type tow-bots approach the stranded vehicle, attach itself to the vehicle conveyance apparatus tow-point (figure 5, item 58) and tow it to the closest transit station for unloading and repair. 10077] Many variations of the invention will occur to those skilled in the art. Some variations include: multiple-track support designs, stacked track designs, underground tunnel track systems, underwater tube track systems, personal use track lines, scenic track routes, joy-riding track tines (designed to allow riders direct manual-fly-mode control of the vehicle conveyance apparatus), and manual fly-mode (which while on designated areas of track) high-speed city to city track systems, as well as others.

[0078] All such variations are intended to be within the scope and spirit of the invention.