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Driverless America
Is Coming

Right under our noses a new industry with 140 new companies is emerging that will be a game changer in the American economy. Transportation is going driverless and highways will be electrified with a market potential in excess of one-trillion dollars. Today America can not afford to expand or replace its existing infrastructure. It is aged, worn, congested, fragile and yet is the backbone of the American economy. However, we built it on cheap oil and that is changing fast.

A new 50,000 mile, one-trillion dollar national driverless network of all weather, elevated, automated, ground-based transport that is funded by the private sector, is feasible. The new driverless transport industry is projected to grow into an estimated two-trillion dollars in size: mobile industry.  



Why is This Important?

America has grown by over 75 million people since 1990. In the next 25 years, it will grow more. Where are they going to go? They will add huge congestion to our roads. The transportation systems around which the modern world has been built are on the verge of a significant transformation. Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are making driving and transport cheaper, more options and safer for everyone and this typifies the future transport framework. Soft infrastructure the realm of concepts, legislation and policies is rapidly evolving to accommodate the demand for global investment in the new infrastructure for driverless transport. We are at a tipping point for change in this industry. In addition, global warming, energy insecurity, and anxiety about economic competitiveness are all converging.

The size of the opportunity is estimated over $2 Trillion dollars by Wall Street. In the next 25 years population is expected to grow by 50 million people creating the need for expanding highways and airports. There are 161,000 miles in the National Highway System of which 47,000 are Interstate freeways. We should be replacing 25% or approximately 40,000 miles (averaging 3 lanes) of freeways and highways every 10 years. This is about 750,000 lane miles at $2 per mile per lane mile equaling $1.5 Trillion over 10 years or $150 Billion per year for maintenance. Unfortunately, the United States Budget only provides $115 Billion per year and half of this goes to other uses such as light rail, buses, etc. This is a cause of the deficiency in our road maintenance. Experts are warning that this deficiency has now grown to several Trillion dollars.

Multiple Public Benefits

Rarely can one idea do so much and with as many spin offs, as a national AGT network could do. Here are number of foreseeable public benefits that could result:
   - Replace percentage of automobile demand
   - Reduce foreign oil dependence
   - Introduce higher fuel economy on a national scale
   - Reduce pollution   and global warming

   - Investment multiplier of 5 to 1 in new  pedestrian development around urban station

Merging the Driverless Car with Elevated Guideways

Every major car manufacturer has their own prototype driverless car as shown below. Driverless cars are expected to increase the volume of traffic at a time when every city has congestion already. By merging both systems into a coordinated mix of ground and elevated traffic there are huge benefits. The first is that elevated systems can move people around town faster that congested roads. The second is that ground based driverless cars can be the missing link to the final destination for elevated systems. Eventually the guideways will carry ground based cars above the traffic and charge their batteries along their route.

States are building Driverless Testing Grounds
ccording to The New York Times, "[States are] financing research centers, building fake suburbs and, perhaps most important, going light on regulation, all in an effort to attract a rapidly growing industry." For instance, a fake town is being built outside of Lakeland, Florida lined with sidewalks, intersections, and shops. Virginia has blocked off an entire 70-mile combination of highway, arterial roads, and urban streets. There's a fake city being built in the middle of the New Mexico desert capable of holding an imaginary population of 35,000 people. And more states are jumping onboard quickly... "Among the states, [it's] ignited a gold rush," says the New York Times.

Each manufacturer below has produced a driverless prototype to enter the market.



What Would It Take?

The growing congestion is creating a new demand for solutions to relieve and expand our infrastructure as gridlock sets in. It will be cheaper to build on top the existing multi trillion-dollar network with smarter computerized and electrified technologies in time to take us beyond oil. And these new 3 to 6 passenger technologies generate revenues that can finance them.  By starting now, we can plan and gradually construct what we want, instead of having oil control us and force us to change our ways without any preparation. Hundreds of new and a few older companies are preparing to compete for a share of this trillion-dollar upgrade market with local circulators now and then Interstate routes soon. The industry is getting traction now with 12 cities starting studies and Colorado is already seeking proposals for a $3 billion system on I-70 mountain corridor. It would need to have profitable revenues in order to attract private capital and it would need popular selling points such faster and more convenient service, clean energy, 200 mpg equivalency and reductions in our congestion/pollution.

How To Pay For It

This narrative describes an economic concept for a USA PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATION to package and fund a $1 Trillion-dollar driverless backbone built above the 50,000-mile existing Interstate Highway system. The core of this concept is to go after some of the $10 trillion “flight capital” that is on the move around the world. It is looking for safe havens and assurance they will get repaid. What better assurance than investing in critical transport infrastructure that generates all its revenue from user fees?

In addition to “flight capital” are repatriated dollars. “When the confidence blows away, the first people to dump the dollar are going to be foreigners. All those dollars, the $10 trillion abroad, are going to come back to the United States in exchange for what? Doug Casey.

The Public Benefit Corporation could create a Federal Bank Depository for foreign and repatriated dollars. How about an exchange for Green Bonds issued by a Public Benefit Corporation that is earning significant infrastructure revenues?

Sustainable Economics

Our rough economic evaluation is that these routes can not only pay for themselves, but can retire debt over a 30-year period and still pay today’s market rate interest. If investors could also get some of the surplus from later years, it would make the funding even more marketable. Why will there be a surplus? (1) less labor costs (2) multiple markets such as people, cargo and fiber optics (underneath) (3) increasing prices (4) increasing users will grow huge over 30 years

Profits on these systems are thought to be in the 10% to 15% range because of the lack of drivers (labor) and fuel. Margins for construction are expected to be 15%. Small systems for malls, resorts, universities, hospitals, airports, office parks and venues will be $50 to $100 million and Interstate systems will be in the Billions of dollars. This will stimulate the economy, give each state the authority to design and sell Green Bonds based on tax incentives America needs a new economic model for the movement of goods and people that also generates new jobs building it. Mobility is the heart of our economy and the   lifeblood of every community in which we live, work and invest. Current population forecasts for the USA include a population.

 The Ripple Effect

A Driverless America would cause a $3 trillion construction boom developing pedestrian villages at station stops and creating an array of public benefits over the next few decades. If the urban one third of the AGT constructed has two stations per mile, as many as 30,000 pedestrian villages would result. If each one averaged 1000 condominiums and a supporting mix of commercial services, then 30 to 50 million people could live work, play and shop without the need for owning a car. They could use buses, taxis, trolleys and car rentals to go off-line into other areas. Such systems will also attract a sizable commuter ridership and more revenues from outside people working and visiting in these villages. AGT can link activity centers such as hospitals, malls, resorts, campuses, airports and office parks. AGT and its pedestrian villages can require clean energy usage. The new labor and property tax bases generated will add hundreds of billions of dollars per year to both federal and state coffers from the trillions of dollars in additional investments for real estate at the stations. and the right to convert in ownership at maturity. Or Use  tax credits that give investors their money back within a few years in the form of tax credits and then tax free earnings for 20 years. Anyone using this last program would have to give ownership to government at maturity.   

Power The Economy          

The $19 trillion American economy relies on a worn and under maintained transportation infrastructure that is approaching gridlock. It needs a new way of growing to meet the future demand of increasing population. Each AGT dollar is expected to generate $5 or more in development projects at stations. Transportation investment has historically generated multiplier investment in adjacent real estate property. With our existing transportation systems all over-loaded, an elevated transportation network is needed for continued growth.  Automated Guideway Transport (AGT) offers the triple potential to unclog existing systems, earn profits and generate new growth of pedestrian villages around stations. Real estate investment multipliers range from four to ten times transit investment.  Therefore each $1 billion invested in AGT will generate $5 billion in pedestrian villages along that route. At each station, an 850' walking radius contains over 2 million square feet of land area. (Graphic) Zoning regulations allowing 5 to 1 densities would grow small mixed-use pedestrian villages that attract a driverless population. Mixed use development around many stations could grow into the hundreds of billions of dollars in new tax base.  For each AGT route, thousands of development jobs will be created in both transport and real estate. These could grow into millions of jobs as the routes densify and interconnect and offer more coverage throughout the states

But that is just the beginning as these systems are economic generators for the real estate around stations stops (the big money maker) and then there is cargo and trash hauling in the after-hours, fiber optics, advertising, naming rights, travel reservations and web sites.

Job Creation

At the turn of the century when automobiles started, there were over 500 companies competing for their idea of what a car should be. The same thing is expected again, but this time the stakes are higher. This infrastructure can set the conditions for thousands of companies to grow new profits by incorporating new innovative automation, information and robotic technologies in tomorrow's economy of innovation. In every state, various industries will be required to organize, fund, build and operate a variety of Driverless transport routes and technologies.  Below is a list of the main industries that would be stimulated by tens thousands of jobs to build a countrywide AGT network:  

Propulsion Systems 

Credit Cards processing

Voter Campaigns

Travel Reservations 

Cargo Integration

Vehicle Assembly

Automation System

Station Development

Underwriting Docs

Power Distribution               

Raw Concrete & Steel

Money Management

Guideway Fabrication

Seat Laptop Advertising    

Station Car Rentals

Economic Feasibility  

Construction Management  

Energy Generation  


What Will a $1 Trillion Market buy?

 AGT will cost, on average, about $15 to 20 million per mile, funding about 50,000 miles over 20 years - about the size of the interstate highway system. If it earns more than other public investments, there is plenty of private money to fuel a trillion-dollar AGT Industry, For example, the Internet showed how quickly a trillion in capital formation can occur for national infrastructure. The Internet attracted over $2 trillion in capital in less than ten years. Today there is over $2.5 trillion in money markets saving accounts earning less than 3% and waiting for better investment climate. The stock market has $8.5 trillion. The Iraqi war is said to cost over $1 Trillion so far. Over the next ten years, America's GNP is expected to exceed $150 trillion cumulatively and yet is dependent on an aging and overloaded transportation network.  We are proposing that AGT is capable of attracting capital for any route that can offer a 10% long term return. Transportation, being America's fourth largest industry and accounting for 11% of the Gross National Product (now exceeding $19 trillion) is primed for automation and possesses conditions that are ripe for explosive growth.

Consortia Formation Factors

A Driverless America will requires the participation and coordination of hundreds of companies. In order to manage this much activity, companies will join Consortia to compete.

- Emergence of new companies collectively interfacing 
- Variety of technologies that can be integrated in many configurations
- Private sector financing with better returns than the existing methodologies
- Increased consumer mobility efficiency
- Increased economic development in other related industries
- Minimum governmental involvement   
- Clean Industry is the future

SMART Skyways Entry into the Driverless Car Industry

generic station-6

We have spent over 10 years and $500,000 in R&D for this project and are ready to show it to the marketplace. Skyways is part of a new mobility industry and has the potential to change civilization. Eventually a $2 trillion market is envisioned for mobile tech and has most of the big digital companies preparing to enter this market. This includes Google, Apple, Intel, the car manufacturing industry and over 150 new startup companies. Some Videos for our entry.

Our plan is to start very small with only $1,300,000 to mobilize a company. This builds a scaled model and a software lab. After a year, $4 million would be allocated for a testing site and shops, followed by another $6,000,000 that will build a ¼ mile testing track. In the third year $14 million would be allocated for a one-mile sales model with three stations. This $25,300,000 initial investment has a profit potential of 5 within three years. The first sales are expected to be in the $200 million range for 10 to 15-mile operating routes that generate a market compatible ROI and demonstrate a multibillion dollar market.