I still think that hybrid slot car design would be a far more efficient means of moving massive amounts of people around.
No, really. Think about it. It is all the convenience of a car, with all the benefits of mass transportation, and so very few of the downsides of both.
Electric cars are great (And getting better!) but it is still difficult to go across the country in them. Even if you went from Tesla SuperCharger to the next, it would take you quite a long time. Both in the charging, and also in the sleeping aspect since you can only stay alert for so long. The driverless car solves one of these issues--staying awake--but the other is charging those pesky batteries.
A few of you might be saying, "Well just swap out the battery like I do in my cordless drill!" and the battery swapping concept is a GOOD idea. I think that would help a vast majority of people seriously consider electric cars if they were in place. Because then, well, you wouldn't need to plan out where you want to go based around the charging ports. You could just drop a battery when you saw a swapping station. But that still requires stopping at a battery station to do the swaps.
What if you never needed to stop?
That is what the "Slot Car" concept brings to the table. By having the charging/guiding being taken care of physically--unable to have a software glitch that would send you over an embankment--then you don't need that big spinning Magic Box (LIDAR?) on top, and you can charge from the same physical connection, making the car go potentially forever.
Then, with clever software, you could link up in groups of people going to similar places so that jetstream effect would make each car require less energy to keep going. Making them even more efficient.
You could even deliver data such as high speed internet through the physical connection. So, no more cell reception required in those really remote areas. You would have a 'wired' connection going into the ground. This is also cheaper to do as well.
And then finally, since everyone is in their own car, you can do things that you can't do on a train such as smoke or listen to your own music, or eat really smelly cheese if you are so inclined. It is your own car, do what you want!
So who is in? +Elon Musk
? I hear you like new groundbreaking/world changing technologies. And you already have a pretty kick ass electric car...