Citizens of the Imperium

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Sifu Blackirish July 21st, 2015 07:24 PM

On The Road
 
During research for my third novel, I have been looking at a lot of information about the Interstate Highway System. In essence, I imagine a 'highway culture' on some alien planet.

I have my own ideas for how this came to be, already in development IMTU. However, the planetary scale just came to me moments ago, and i was so fascinated by the concept that I wanted to share.

IMTU Terra gradually abandons internal combustion engines during the 21st Century, with the exception being the Los Angeles Automotive Reclamation Area. Pollution and special use taxes make it too expensive for average citizens to have them. LAARA is funded by old-school NASCAR and NHRA fanboys, who maintain the highways. Long straight sections along with 'interchange mazes' (intersections of major interstates) are there for the enjoyment of rich dilettantes.

What would the planetary characteristics be of such a place, where vehicles predominate?

What comes to mind for me is almost continual cloud cover and extreme winds aloft. Maybe the original colonists hit the 'sweet spot' of the ecocycle and there was actually sunshine that year. How about a sunny year 1 of 10?

Now i leave the rest to you fellow CotI members. As an inducement to those who think an 'interstate planet' would be a boring place, I provide this:

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/roadmovies.cfm

flykiller July 21st, 2015 08:29 PM

Quote:

for the enjoyment of rich dilettantes
long stretches of straight highway, huh? boring. put the driver bot on, fall asleep.

1) mountains. lots of twisty curves to test one's skills, lots of fog to test one's nerves, lots of tunnels to hear the roar of one's engines, and lots of scenic views over vast valleys.

2) forests and lakes. scenery.

3) jurassic highway. race the predators. insurance on sale ....

4) car wars. death race 2000. road warrior. iron autobahn blitzkrieg nazis with 88's.

Quint July 21st, 2015 08:32 PM

Alternately you could go the route of the Daniel Keys Moran did in his Continuing Time novels - see "The Long Run" and "Emerald Eyes"

Short version, all traffic is computer controlled unless you have a license to drive yourself - in a world full of VTOL's (easily changed to grav). The licenses to "drive freely" are very hard to get and there are clubs devoted to doing so - including the concept of 'the long run" which is either an around the world trip or some other very long bit of travel (I can't remember at the moment).

D.

kilemall July 22nd, 2015 03:03 AM

I'm reading that there would still be quite a need for cheap ground transportation even at the higher TLs- 600K Cr for an air/raft still makes it a working vehicle or rich plaything, and even if you say buy a TL9 air/raft at TL14 and incur the 50% TL 'exchange rate', that still works out to 300K vs. much more affordable wheels.

Or you could go hover which would allow for much cheaper grading and fixing of travel surface without the expense of maintaining a road to full safe/drainage levels.

BlackBat242 July 22nd, 2015 04:11 AM

Sorry - this topic, and the mention of hovercars, just forces me to post this (not that I really need an excuse to listen to it again):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjjNvjURS-s

aramis July 22nd, 2015 05:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 512146)
I'm reading that there would still be quite a need for cheap ground transportation even at the higher TLs- 600K Cr for an air/raft still makes it a working vehicle or rich plaything, and even if you say buy a TL9 air/raft at TL14 and incur the 50% TL 'exchange rate', that still works out to 300K vs. much more affordable wheels.

Or you could go hover which would allow for much cheaper grading and fixing of travel surface without the expense of maintaining a road to full safe/drainage levels.

Busses, trams, slidewalks... as is being discovered in a number of european cities, most people don't need their own vehicles, and can rent vans (and drivers) when needed for moves, etc.

That everyone needs a personal or family vehicle is not a given.

kilemall July 22nd, 2015 06:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aramis (Post 512151)
Busses, trams, slidewalks... as is being discovered in a number of european cities, most people don't need their own vehicles, and can rent vans (and drivers) when needed for moves, etc.

That everyone needs a personal or family vehicle is not a given.

Of course, but for worlds/nations of a certain density and distance, personal ground vehicles will be desirable.

Condottiere July 22nd, 2015 06:17 AM

Depends on the integration of public transport.

Some countries have them coordinated and networked on a national level, with an attempt to keep delays less than four minutes, but ninety percent run on time.

At some point, we'll have on call drone taxis, one target demographic being the elderly.

Jame July 22nd, 2015 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 512146)
I'm reading that there would still be quite a need for cheap ground transportation even at the higher TLs- 600K Cr for an air/raft still makes it a working vehicle or rich plaything, and even if you say buy a TL9 air/raft at TL14 and incur the 50% TL 'exchange rate', that still works out to 300K vs. much more affordable wheels.

Or you could go hover which would allow for much cheaper grading and fixing of travel surface without the expense of maintaining a road to full safe/drainage levels.

I believe that there was a 10% discount for TLs over that, so a TL 9 air/raft would cost 60000 Cr and a TL 10 one cost 6000.

Unless you wanted to alter that and have a TL 9 one cost 300000 CR, a TL 10 one cost 100000 Cr and so forth. Makes getting higher TL ones a better idea, and gives in-game justification for a lot of worlds trying to up their TLs.

flykiller July 22nd, 2015 01:44 PM

Quote:

as is being discovered in a number of european cities, most people don't need their own vehicles
sure it works in european cities. but in texas or california ....

the big attraction of public transit is that it allows city/social planners to dictate where everyone may and may not and must and must not go. great for high law level worlds.

rancke July 22nd, 2015 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flykiller (Post 512189)
the big attraction of public transit is that it allows city/social planners to dictate where everyone may and may not and must and must not go. great for high law level worlds.

Some people find that the lower cost of transportation is a more important attraction.


Hans

flykiller July 22nd, 2015 06:04 PM

Quote:

Some people find that the lower cost of transportation is a more important attraction.
heh. yeah, it STARTS cheap ... and later they discover that now, no matter how expensive it gets and no matter how much more they are willing to pay, certain things simply are disallowed.

"hey, transport. take me and my kids to the park today."

"I'm sorry dave, but I can't do that."

"ok, well, take us to the lake, we'll go fishing."

"I'm sorry dave, but you have no permit for that resource expenditure."

and so on.

flykiller July 22nd, 2015 06:07 PM

heh. you don't own it.

http://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers...-jeep-highway/

rancke July 22nd, 2015 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flykiller (Post 512214)
heh. yeah, it STARTS cheap ... and later they discover that now, no matter how expensive it gets and no matter how much more they are willing to pay, certain things simply are disallowed.

"hey, transport. take me and my kids to the park today."

"I'm sorry dave, but I can't do that."

"ok, well, take us to the lake, we'll go fishing."

"I'm sorry dave, but you have no permit for that resource expenditure."

and so on.

Do you have a single authenticated real world example of things working out like that?


Hans

whartung July 22nd, 2015 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quint (Post 512125)
Alternately you could go the route of the Daniel Keys Moran did in his Continuing Time novels - see "The Long Run" and "Emerald Eyes"

Unrelated, but "The Long Run" (by Daniel Keys Moran) is my favorite all time book. The others are very good, TLR is my favorite.

When electricity/[alternative fuel] reaches the power and duration of gasoline, NASCAR will happily switch over. Open Wheel racing already races with alcohol based fuels, NASCAR doesn't bother as it's not necessary (since peak horsepower is not a driving goal for them, the cars are "fast enough").

Nobody will go see electric car drag racing. It's fast, but it's boring. A Top Fuel race is a visceral experience beyond simply the speed itself. They can race in parking lots. Fuel isn't their limitation, noise is. Auto sports have effectively zero impact on anything in terms of carbon fuel use. There's simply not enough of it compared to normal use.

Auto bots (self driving cars) will have a great impact on transportation in all but the lowest density areas. The problem with bots for hire is simply the number of bots available at any one time. I can not see a profitable situation where a company will have the excess capacity to manage something like "rush hour", causing a great shortage during those times.

What will be interesting is to see whether the density of buses will increase when the bots become the drivers. It's a question of whether labor is the primary cost component for running a bus vs not. Buses are the most scalable solution to handling diverse routes and reasonable volumes with existing infrastructure.

But, for example, my commute is 20m, and a bus would cost as much in terms of fuel, takes 1.5 hours, and involves quite a bit of walking, so I don't take the bus. Add buses, more often, closer to my destinations, make it a 1/2 hour commute, and it's quite viable.

Ad hoc mini bot buses (like the round about airport shuttles) may work, but the daily surge at the start and end of day, hard to say -- lots of people moving at those times.

individual auto bots, I just don't see them as a public resource during rush hour (i.e. "you can't get a cab in Manhattan this time of day").

That said, daily parking can be managed in that your personal auto bot can drive you to work, then return home (or wherever it's assigned parking spot is). Later, it can come pick you up. Then buildings and cities would have something similar to the "cell phone parking lots" that airports have. A place that cars can wait a short period nearby until they're needed.

The auto bot knows you "get off at 5", and starts the travel. Then it stages nearby until you are actually leaving the office. Then you alert it as you're entering the elevators and leaving the building, and the car shows up in the queue up front.

The final problem with the shared auto bot is making the machine self aware enough that someone hasn't done something simply vile in the car. Having one come up with unmentionable things having happened in the back seat, yea you can order another one, but…yeah…good times.

flykiller July 22nd, 2015 06:24 PM

Quote:

Do you have a single authenticated real world example of things working out like that?
regarding transport? nope! not yet! but you'll see it.

but in other things, sure! "we haven't shut down the newspaper, it's just that darn paper shortage ...." "we're not taking away your guns, you just can't carry them in town ...." "sure, you can vote, just after you pass this little literacy test ...." "we'll just search you and your car, no probable cause, officer safety you know ...." "sure you can set up a business ... after you get this permit ... then that permit ... then sign this agreement ... and hire these certain people ... and if the sheriff approves ... and if the county approves ... and if you post insurance with this company and deposit with this bank ...." "yes, you can withdraw your money out of the bank, as long as the amount is less than $10,000 ... $5000 ... $2000 ...."

actually, come to think of it, yes, I have two examples with regards to transportation. 1) ancient romans from about 200ad on were not permitted to travel unless they carried with them proof that they had paid all their taxes. this consisted of a large thick metal plate with the appropriate up-to-date stamps from the town tax collector. no tax stamps, no travel. 2) vehicle-mounted breathalyzers, can't start your car engine until you blow into it and it decides you're not drunk. if it fails or breaks, well, no driving for you until it's fixed.

rancke July 22nd, 2015 06:46 PM

I was thinking about regulations that could be implemented if people had to rely on public transportation but not if they had their own. I know of plenty of repressive regimes with repressive rules and regulations. But I can't think of any that would have been impossible to implement because of private car ownership.


Hans

rancke July 22nd, 2015 06:48 PM

Another possibility is the public car pool. Citizens sign out cars for the hours they need them and return them when they no longer need them, allowing more people to share the use of each car.


Hans

Condottiere July 22nd, 2015 07:08 PM

You can link usage with supply and demand; when there is little demand, the cost is cheaper, when there is a lot, you have to pay a premium.

Sifu Blackirish July 22nd, 2015 09:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Condottiere (Post 512229)
You can link usage with supply and demand; when there is little demand, the cost is cheaper, when there is a lot, you have to pay a premium.

Yeah, iI can see that easily. Middle of the night, 'floor prices' are the norm, but at rush hour? Bidding prices! See the minimum 'cents per mile' number creep up, with the sure knowledge that if you don't bid up, you are at the bottom of the list.

No one has mentioned a potential planet yet! I imagine something like the 'Damnation Alley' book environment. Severe winds over 200ft, radiation storms, swampland eventually taking over? Sunny days would be a rarity. While I am thinking of it, what is on this planet that justifies a human presence? Valuable mineral, animal or plant? A failed colony, exiles, prison?

kilemall July 22nd, 2015 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jame (Post 512173)
I believe that there was a 10% discount for TLs over that, so a TL 9 air/raft would cost 60000 Cr and a TL 10 one cost 6000.

Unless you wanted to alter that and have a TL 9 one cost 300000 CR, a TL 10 one cost 100000 Cr and so forth. Makes getting higher TL ones a better idea, and gives in-game justification for a lot of worlds trying to up their TLs.

First I have heard of this, near as I could tell from the various Merchant/Missile materials it was 10% per TL- so TL8 100 Cr, TL9 90 Cr, TL10 80Cr, TL11 70 Cr etc.

That would be the price of the TL8 version being sold to higher tech worlds, if you had a TL11 version of whatever the doodad is, presumably it would be 100 Cr at TL11 valuation or maybe higher depending on what new high tech features came with it, and would sell at 140 Cr on a TL8 world.

Some of the missile rules had double or triple pricing for 'early introduction' systems.

Enforcing 'can't use this TL8 thing with that TL14 system' would be a way to enforce demand for higher tech items and benefits.

kilemall July 22nd, 2015 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sifu Blackirish (Post 512239)
Yeah, iI can see that easily. Middle of the night, 'floor prices' are the norm, but at rush hour? Bidding prices! See the minimum 'cents per mile' number creep up, with the sure knowledge that if you don't bid up, you are at the bottom of the list.

Dallas has variable rate toll roads based precisely on this principle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfR6Okq7biU

aramis July 23rd, 2015 04:20 AM

Leave the political diatribes out. Two posts deleted.

rancke July 23rd, 2015 04:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flykiller (Post 512234)
oh. very simple. the public transportation goes where the city planners want it to go when they want it to go there. and not one inch further or one second sooner or later.

Public car pools. Cab-type system.


Hans

nobby-w July 23rd, 2015 06:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 512152)
Of course, but for worlds/nations of a certain density and distance, personal ground vehicles will be desirable.

Absolutely

If you have a dense population like (say) the Southeast of England then the sheer traffic density makes getting around by car quite slow. Public transport - especially a well developed train system - is by far the easiest way to get around in London and parts of the surrounding country. This is also the case in various American cities, New York being perhaps the best example.

However, there are plenty of places in the areas around London that aren't in walking distance to a train station, and for these locations a car is still very useful. While there are still a lot of bus services, these often only run every couple of hours and then only into the early evening.

At the other end of the scale the rural areas of (say) Australia, New Zealand or parts of the U.S. or Canada are very sparsely populated. Even the cities can be very spread out. Public transport is much less cost-effective in areas like this, so cars will be prevalent.

Teaching someone to fly safely is much harder than teaching them to drive. There was a flying car that was brought to market sometime in the 1950s (there's plenty of video about it). Even then, it apparently needed about 8 separate sets of licensing and paperwork to operate. The bureaucracy surrounding flying will be much more complex than driving.

While Cr600,000 is quite a lot of money for an air/raft, it's not out of line with the $1-2m that a light helicopter (well, anything but a Robbie) might cost today.

I can see ground cars being a fixture of pretty much any technologically advanced environment. They might be powered by internal combustion engines, or some sort of air-breathing fuel cell arrangement at higher tech levels.

Auto-driving is unlikely to ever be mandatory, although cars might well have an auto-drive capability. Automated taxis might, however, be quite a cheap service in cities and probably fairly popular because of this.

aramis July 23rd, 2015 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nobby-w (Post 512257)
Auto-driving is unlikely to ever be mandatory, although cars might well have an auto-drive capability.

You're getting close to political here.
I'll PM you an explanation.

kilemall July 23rd, 2015 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rancke (Post 512252)
Public car pools. Cab-type system.


Hans

Legend of the Galactic Heroes' Free Planets Alliance has such a car system.

http://gogoanime.tv/legend-of-the-ga...oes-episode-12

A very practical system, but can break down.

Sifu Blackirish September 4th, 2015 10:24 PM

Sifu drops by...
 
After sending my novel to the proofreaders, I had some spare time to engage in idle creative thought. In typical 'mulligan stew' style, I brought several disparate data points together to come up with something. Not much yet, but it has excellent potential as a location for two stories IMTU. I hope it generates some interest.



TERRAN ASTROGRAPHY GUIDEBOOK

3121 Eisenhower C643755-8 A G

The initial colonization effort was sponsored by Estaban Traders LIC and ChevronMobil to obtain petrochemical base stocks away from Terra's increasingly draconian environmental restrictions.

Remote controlled drilling rigs confirmed the presence of a vast amount of petrochemicals, locked in oil shale formations. Certainly they have a diminished value since the advent of mass conversion systems, yet they still have other uses.

"There are two seasons on Eisenhower. Hot and dust, or cold and dust."

Originally only one city was constructed, an extraction plant next to the starport. Facilities are relatively primitive, that launched storage pods of kerogen into orbit and serviced the occasional corporate trader. Increased demand led to several more extraction plants being built. Instead of piling up the waste material, it is used to build roads.

kilemall September 5th, 2015 06:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sifu Blackirish (Post 516053)
After sending my novel to the proofreaders, I had some spare time to engage in idle creative thought. In typical 'mulligan stew' style, I brought several disparate data points together to come up with something. Not much yet, but it has excellent potential as a location for two stories IMTU. I hope it generates some interest.



TERRAN ASTROGRAPHY GUIDEBOOK

3121 Eisenhower C643755-8 A G

The initial colonization effort was sponsored by Estaban Traders LIC and ChevronMobil to obtain petrochemical base stocks away from Terra's increasingly draconian environmental restrictions.

Remote controlled drilling rigs confirmed the presence of a vast amount of petrochemicals, locked in oil shale formations. Certainly they have a diminished value since the advent of mass conversion systems, yet they still have other uses.

"There are two seasons on Eisenhower. Hot and dust, or cold and dust."

Originally only one city was constructed, an extraction plant next to the starport. Facilities are relatively primitive, that launched storage pods of kerogen into orbit and serviced the occasional corporate trader. Increased demand led to several more extraction plants being built. Instead of piling up the waste material, it is used to build roads.

I asked a relative about future exoplanetary chemical processing since he's a chemical engineer, my inquiries about planets without oxygenation events didn't get very far (much less alternative base chemistry mass changes), but he did say pretty much any chemical processing needs a lot of water. So that should be a factor for any 'chemical' planet.

kilemall September 5th, 2015 06:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 512241)
First I have heard of this, near as I could tell from the various Merchant/Missile materials it was 10% per TL- so TL8 100 Cr, TL9 90 Cr, TL10 80Cr, TL11 70 Cr etc.

That would be the price of the TL8 version being sold to higher tech worlds, if you had a TL11 version of whatever the doodad is, presumably it would be 100 Cr at TL11 valuation or maybe higher depending on what new high tech features came with it, and would sell at 140 Cr on a TL8 world.

Some of the missile rules had double or triple pricing for 'early introduction' systems.

Enforcing 'can't use this TL8 thing with that TL14 system' would be a way to enforce demand for higher tech items and benefits.

I surely would like clarification on this, is it 10% as in 100%/90%/80% or 10x per tech level?

If the latter, I would withdraw any qualifications I have expressed about interstellar trade, there would likely be HUGE flows of raw materials and products being flown about.

Drakon September 5th, 2015 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nobby-w (Post 512257)
Absolutely

If you have a dense population like (say) the Southeast of England then the sheer traffic density makes getting around by car quite slow. Public transport - especially a well developed train system - is by far the easiest way to get around in London and parts of the surrounding country. This is also the case in various American cities, New York being perhaps the best example.

At the other end of the scale the rural areas of (say) Australia, New Zealand or parts of the U.S. or Canada are very sparsely populated. Even the cities can be very spread out. Public transport is much less cost-effective in areas like this, so cars will be prevalent.

Possibly what will evolve is some smaller form of personal transport. At higher tech levels, we get grav belts (TL=10). You won't need a whole car, just a suit, perhaps like a set of biker leathers, some folks might go all spandexy. But the problem with traffic is 1) 2D at present, and 2) the size of car. Shrinking the vehicle, and adding the 3rd dimension should do a lot to alievating the problem.

Quote:

Teaching someone to fly safely is much harder than teaching them to drive. There was a flying car that was brought to market sometime in the 1950s (there's plenty of video about it). Even then, it apparently needed about 8 separate sets of licensing and paperwork to operate. The bureaucracy surrounding flying will be much more complex than driving.
a big chunk of this bureaucracy is necessary, due to the fact gravity always works. If you crash a car, you are still close to the road. A crashed aircraft ends up on somebody's land, or house or stuff
Quote:

Auto-driving is unlikely to ever be mandatory, although cars might well have an auto-drive capability. Automated taxis might, however, be quite a cheap service in cities and probably fairly popular because of this.
That would depend on law level. But couple an Uber type app with self driving cars and that might be a good business for an upper tech level city.

Until the grav belt franchise opens up. :)

Condottiere September 5th, 2015 03:42 PM

Someone may think you're trying to spy on his wife while she's sunbathing, without bothering to use a drone, so trespass could be an issue, especially combined with someone standing their ground.

Sifu Blackirish September 5th, 2015 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 516077)
I asked a relative about future exoplanetary chemical processing since he's a chemical engineer, my inquiries about planets without oxygenation events didn't get very far (much less alternative base chemistry mass changes), but he did say pretty much any chemical processing needs a lot of water. So that should be a factor for any 'chemical' planet.

Thanks so much for the feedback! Just fiddled with the description a little more and came up with this...


Wells were drilled to extract subsurface water for plant operations. Insufficient amounts caused the creation of a water pipeline to the large sea and reverse osmosis processing used to extract unwanted minerals.

Use of industrial water and a gradual cooling of the ecosphere causing water lost to permafrost has gradually reduced the hydrographic percentage, now 37 percent but not officially recognized.

Desert encroachment has made the environment increasingly arid and unsuitable for growth of Terran plants without sealed greenhouses.

Winds aloft produce severe traveling dust storms.


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