3.0 The Human Factor in Vehicle Usage

3.1Attachment to Personal Vehicles in the United States:

Human nature, as judged by the public's use of personal cars, indicates that a typical driver, particularly in the United States, will be unwilling to give up the style, comfort, convenience and familiarity associated with his or her personal car or cars. Customization seen in almost every personal vehicle in terms of color, body style, power options, entertainment systems, trim schemes, aftermarket modifications, specialty tires, wheels and other options, makes it more desirable to travel in the vehicle that incorporates a person's unique taste and style. Typical rail or PRT travel requires a person to make his or her way to a station, in most cases park a personal vehicle and then find a way to reach a final destination after arriving at the destination rail station. A person who uses today's typical train or PRT systems does not have access to his personal vehicle once he or she has left the originating station. Inner city mass transit alternatives often cost more and take more time, than driving to a destination in a personal car, making a personal car more financially practical as well.

3.2.Common Cars:

Some commercial companies have attempted to solve parts of the mass transit dilemma through a system using common, or shared, cars located at numerous sites within densely populated areas (A Common Cars). Current opinions of those using Common Car systems regarding availability and condition are not favorable in comparison to personal cars. Most people will not want to depend on a vehicle which may not meet their standards of sanitation, cleanliness, mechanical condition or appearance and Common Car performance is no better than the existing surface transportation facilities on which they operate. Common Car businesses are not believed to be substantially adaptable to a large percentage of surface transportation users, however, there may be a potential tie between these types of services and the HPR System. (See Section 12.8 A Common Cars). Common Cars are no safer, faster or more efficient than standard cars.

3.3Personal Safety:

In terms of personal safety, an HPR vehicle will be designed and constructed to new standards, using the newly developed technologies of carbon fiber "tubs", active head and neck protection and, in the unlikely event of an impending collision, braking capacity that is as much as 8 times greater than any personal surface vehicle in use at this time. Medical alert systems (an option), will monitor a driver's vital signs and provide immediate System exit in the event of a medical issue. A person who becomes incapacitated, for example, would not be in grave danger of driving off the road or having another type of accident as the Grid's central computer could recognize the condition and cause the vehicle to exit the Grid System and come to a stop at a safe location. Medical personnel could be standing by to assist. Primary HPR System computers would be designed to avoid any chance of a collision, however, in the unlikely event of a primary computer failure and an impending collision the HPR System's secondary, on-board computers would recognize the circumstances in advance gently initiating full head and body restraints for all occupants well before impact. Safety features of the Grid and HPR compliant vehicles are further described in Section 10 (Safety of Life).