Thinking Out Loud

It appears that Tesla is capable of manufacturing at least 7,000 Model 3 electric vehicles per week. A full year of that would be 364,000 Model 3s.

In 2017, the international automotive industry produced 73.5 million passenger cars. Worldwide, passenger car sales are expected to continue to grow to about 81.6 million units in 2018.

I observe that most of the vehicles on the roads in St. Louis have a single occupant most of the time. There are times when it is more likely to see more than one person per vehicle.

Wouldn’t it make sense for most of the vehicles in the automotive fleet to be one-person wide, called an Opee, so they could carry two people at a time who are sitting back-to-back, or one person with a load of items in the back seat, or no people with the entire interior of the car used for hauling objects? Maybe half of the fleet should be one-person wide vehicles, Opees. The rest of the vehicles could be a mix of electric scooters, sedans, vans, trucks, and specialty vehicles.

If one self-driving Opee can meet the transportation needs of five people in an average day, and coordinated efforts by the world’s automotive manufacturing industry produced 50 million Opees per year, then one year’s production would meet the needs of 250 million people, and ten years would meet the needs of 2.5 billion people. How many people need transportation each day?

A Tesla Model 3 gets about three miles per kwh of electricity. Since Opees are smaller, they might get six to seven miles, or ten kilometers, per kwh.

An Opee could go maybe 200 miles, an average daily distance, with a 30 kwh battery. These smaller batteries would weigh much less than the Tesla batteries, which is one of the reasons why Opees would go much farther for a given amount of electricity. The lighter the vehicle, the greater the distance traveled per unit of energy.

Opees could have their speed capped at 55 miles per hour which would also result in a greater distance traveled per unit of energy because the wind resistance increases quickly as the speed goes above 55 miles per hour.

Opees that were traveling in caravan mode, in which only the front vehicle has to break the wind resistance, in highway conditions for long distances, the Opees could travel five miles per hour faster for each additional vehicle in the caravan, up to five vehicles following the leader for a top speed of eighty miles per hour. The caravan could consist of more than six vehicles, staying with the cap of eighty miles per hour, and the additional cars would get the benefit of traveling faster with a relatively small penalty in energy used.

What kind specialty vehicles might there be? There could be mobile medical units. These might be about the size and shape of a large van. At that size, they could actually be mobile surgical units, equipped with a number of robotic arms, and surgical equipment, and sterilization supplies. They would be capable of performing vasectomies, as well as other procedures.

The vasectomies could be prepaid through a public fund so they could be offered for free. Free is nice, and maybe an additional incentive would make it nicer. How many men would agree to have a free vasectomy if they were offered a lifetime supply of free cannabis, as much as they wanted. This would be a relatively inexpensive incentive because many of the users could grow their own, of the strains of cannabis that they prefer.

It would be wrong to offer as an incentive a lifetime standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services because everyone already has a right to this, as stated in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We should observe this simply because it is the right thing to do. Of course, doing the right thing may lead to men and women having a high level of confidence that children who have already been born are likely to survive and to thrive; and therefore, they would be more likely to practice birth control.  

It would help relieve the strain on everyone who is already alive if we could keep the number of people in the world at less than eight billion. Once people see this, we need to provide the means for making it so. How many specialty robotic surgical vehicles would we need to meet the demand for vasectomies? If we can get the job done better and faster by training and equipping people to perform the vasectomies, so much the better.  

Just thinking out loud.

John Kintree

August 8, 2018