How to Run a City Like Amazon, and Other Fables

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CITIES NEED MASS TRANSIT TESLA1 Harvey J. Miller, The Ohio State University

Elon’s vision: personalized urban mobility Imagine getting into your vehicle for a pleasant ride to work. After turning on to an arterial road, the vehicle pulls over to a platform along the curb about the size of two parking spots. The platform lowers your vehicle to a network of underground tunnels. Your vehicle pulls away slowly at first but rapidly gains speed and joins the stream of vehicles travelling at 200kph. When you get closer your destination, the process reverses: your vehicle pulls off to the side, slows down, rises to street level on a platform, and rejoins other vehicles using the street network, taking you to your final destination. Maybe you do not or cannot own a personal vehicle. No worries! Scattered throughout the city, in thousands of locations, are shared vehicle stations, each the size of a parking space. You enter this vehicle with others going to the same destination, it lowers to the underground network system, merges with


The following academic article speculates on how an urban transportation system might be run and experienced if Tesla’s business model was adopted. Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe.