The Central Principles of the HCORT Design are as follows:
1. The overall system design must be open source, open design and in the public domain in terms of all guideway definitions. Specifically, the guideway design itself, all interface definitions and the design of any component required by vehicles must be in the public domain.
2. Must include latched platooning on the main HCORT freeways (expressways). When vehicles platoon, the vehicles approach each other while traveling at or near the full speed of the freeway and gently touch on large bumpers and latch together. i.e. clamp, clasp, attach or otherwise fasten together. The electronically controlled latch can be controlled by either vehicle. Reasons for adding this latch are as follows:
- We currently have a history of major projects that failed due to or related to platooning. These problems included authorities not accepting the concept of platooning as a safe way to travel, and problems getting platooning to work reliably due to the vehicles bumping into each other.
- We have a history of good safety with having vehicles latched together as trains or trailers. Therefore, with only a very small period of time when any distance between vehicles exists, the overall journey will be safer than having distance between vehicles throughout the journey.
3. Vehicles must be based on four wheels with rubber tyres. These will probably be pneumatic although there are other alternatives. Reasons for rubber tyres are:
- Allows Dual Mode. That is, allows vehicles to also run on normal roads.
- Ability to use standard automobile technology for suspension, wheels, brakes, steering, shock absorbers etc.
- Reduces Intellectual Property problems. Cities don't want to run on a road or rail system where some private company owns rights to it.
- Able to stop and start quickly
- Good ability to handle steep grades
- Vastly superior cost per capabilities.
- Large range of vehicles already developed.
4. Initially, projects creating or designing HCORT systems should not design or create any vehicles in total for the system. Rather, the design or creation should be that of kits that allow modification of standard electric cars.
- Electric car technology is advancing too quickly for systems designed for large networks to keep up with. Large new networks like these will have a slow implementation or uptake.
- There is a large range of types of HCORT vehicles needed, both those described herein and others, and a generalized kit will be needed to allow all of these to be created.
- Cars originally designed for roads are a lot more sophisticated than specifically built vehicles, particularly in terms of safety features that the HCORT system should utilise. For example, cars are generally built with anti-locking brakes, stability controls and air bags and all of these would be used by the HCORT passenger vehicles.
- Designing specific vehicles are generally attempts to lock in the manufacturer as always being the supplier. This will limit the usefulness of the system.
Note: Once a major implementation occurs there will be a substantial number of vehicles purchased. With this purchasing power, there will be a large number of further modifications implemented such as taking away the steering wheel and other controls etc, adding an emergency exit, particularly to the front of the vehicle etc.
5. Solid bumper bars with latching will be developed as part of the kit used to convert electric cars to HCORT vehicles. These are currently envisaged as being like 1980s style Volvo bumper bars. The bumper bars will include shock absorbers (i.e. damping which insures that there is little spring rebound). Many of the various sensors will be incorporated in the bumper bars. Use of these bumper bars is expected to aid in independent modular component design as it allows a design which includes mechanical aspects to be created as one larger module incorporating a number of the smaller modules used to make the vehicle design. It could be designed with lightweight Fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP). These bumper bars must produce a standard height above ground level where vehicles will meet each in any push and shove and where sensors or reflectors etc are mounted.
6. The guideway system should primarily be treated as an alternative to adding extra road throughput such as an alternative to adding a freeway (expressway) rather than as a way of adding an extra public transport network like a railway. Its costing should primarily be compared to that of adding extra capacity to the current road network with the public transport vehicles being considered in a similar manner to that of buses over the top of roads. Implementation of guideways should be done by the authorities creating new road transport. Reasons for this include the following:
- Some vehicles are dual mode, able to go on both normal roads and on this HCORT system. In time, these may be a major part of the traffic.
- Some parts of the system such as side lanes continue to be parts of the road system as well as part of this new HCORT system.
- The vehicles used within the system are the same or close to vehicles used on roads and have the same limitations and requirements such as headways etc
- Overall the system becomes a full network in the same way as the roads are a network, which is distinctly different to the route system of trains and trams etc.
- This transportation system is expected to be able to shift a very high percentage of current road users to using it whereas traditional public transport systems such as buses can only shift a small proportion of road users onto their use.
7. The system should utilise the previous roads as a 'near grade' system through out most of the outer suburbs. This is particularly so for the branches to sidings that contain the substations as these are best placed on back streets substantially reducing implementation costs. The HCORT freeways in most outer suburbs will run down the centre of what was previously minor arterial or distributor roads. When these roads intersect with standard roads the HCORT lanes will sink into the ground, like an open ditch, with a bridge over the HCORT lane for the standard road traffic. Note that this is only 'most' of the time. It is expected that there will be some streets where the use of any part of the street will cause excessive disruption to the road traffic or for various other reasons will not be possible. In these other cases the new network can be implemented as elevated guideways.
8. All vehicles must be severely height limited.
- This is needed in order to allow easy implementation of the 'near grade' sections.
9. Rather than having substations along the HCORT freeways, most substations are on side branches (sidings or spurs), with these sidings typically at a right angle to the HCORT freeway, with substations some distance away from the freeways.
- This substantially increasing the percentage of the population that the system services.
- Due to the fact that multiple substations on a siding can now share acceleration/deceleration lanes the cost per substation is decreased.
- Makes it easier to fit the HCORT freeways into existing roads while still providing access to properties on those roads.
10. The system uses multiple types of guideway. These guideways are as follows:
- Main HCORT freeways (expressways) over longer distances.
- Deceleration and acceleration lanes next to the main HCORT freeways. These are short sections, sufficient in length for the speed change plus some buffering of vehicle position to allow the vehicles to merge into the stream of traffic they are entering.
- Sidings which contain the substations.
- Side lanes which allow HCORT vehicles to directly enter properties. These side lanes also allow normal road vehicles to enter properties. The normal vehicles must use a mobile app or electronic device for their control. This effectively provides time multiplexing so that HCORT vehicles are not on the lane or in the entrance to the property at the same time as normal vehicles.
11. The use of near grade for sidings and side lanes requires a large number of near grade crossings. With most of these the HCORT lanes will sink into the ground, like an open ditch, with a bridge over the HCORT lane for standard road traffic. The number and placement of these will depend on the street pattern but one of the most common places they will be needed is close to the end of the sidings where the sidings connect to deceleration and acceleration lanes. Typically this will be close to a sharp 90 degree turn. In this case the crossing needed for road traffic is only a single one way lane of road traffic plus space for pedestrians and bikes in both directions. Only one thin HCORT lane has to be crossed over.
12. The system must extend out beyond the outer suburbs.
- Needed to purchase land cheaply for HCORT vehicle night parking space.
- Land purchased would also be used for vehicle maintenance.
- Land purchased would also be used to provide parking to properties that had lost their street parking.
- Land purchased would also be used to provide parking to users that were not within walking distance.
13. A range of different vehicles is designed for use with the system. These have the same width and maximum height but can be different lengths. Some of these vehicle types are purely designed for carriage of goods or special purposes.
14. Must allow specially designed vehicles to utilise the system where the vehicle also has the ability to drive on normal roads. i.e. Dual mode vehicles.
15. The overall speeds of the system, particularly the speed of vehicles on the main HCORT freeways (expressways) are faster than those normally seen on metropolitan transport. Higher speeds have the following advantages:
- Allows passengers to get to their destination quickly.
- Reduces wait time for vehicles.
- Reduces the number of vehicles needed for the system to transport a given throughput.
16. Speeds envisaged for the system are as follows:
- 160 km/hr on HCORT freeways (i.e. 100 mph)
- 40 km/hr in 90 degree turn from HCORT freeway to HCORT freeway (with 10% bank)
- 20 km/hr in 90 degree turn from HCORT freeway to siding (with 10% bank)
- 80 km/hr on sidings where fenced
- 20 km/hr on sidings where unfenced
- 10 or 20 km/hr on siding side lanes
17. Users are able to implement virtual trailers or virtual trains, where the users control multiple carriages throughout a journey. Examples of this are:
- A user can order a goods carriage to carry goods such as bikes then have a separate carriage to carry themselves.
- A school teacher can control multiple carriages carrying their students.
- Where the height of a disabled person on an electric mobility scooter is too tall to allow them to ride on the scooter while the scooter is in a new HCORT vehicle, then the disabled person can ride in one carriage while the scooter is carried in a separate goods carriage.
- Tradespeople, lawn mowing services and gardens services etc, can have multiple carriages carrying their tools and bring in further vehicles for the disposal of waste.
- Police can implement police vans (i.e. paddy wagons) for carriage of prisoners separate from the vehicle that the police travel in.
- Specially designed fire engine vehicles are likely to require multiple vehicles.
- Specially designed ambulances are likely to only have room for one ambulance officer/paramedic with the person on the stretcher. Further ambulance officers/paramedics would travel in a more standard vehicle.
18. When the virtual train concept is implemented to carry more people or to carry animals, there will be the availability of audio visual systems between carriages that allow audio visual conversations between passengers in different vehicles within the train. The operation and control of this would have several modes so that there were options to make it suitable for teachers with students or other groups of people.
19. Each vehicle designed for carriage of people will have a number of video cameras and microphones. The central control will have substantial video surveillance capability. Computers will be used to evaluate the audio video data to locate data that it recommends the central control people to review. For more information on this see the section entitled 'Rape Wagon'.
20. The vehicles are electric vehicles powered by battery. Power for charging the battery is provided at various places along the HCORT freeways and while parked at substations and overnight parking stations. At substations and other parking stations, inductive transfer is used. Along the HCORT freeways are short sections of catenary lines or supply rails which the vehicles utilise through a pair of collectors (trolley poles, small pantographs or bow collectors). Two supply rails/lines along with two collectors are needed due to the rubber tyres. While more research is needed as to the best place to put the supply rails/lines, it is likely to be below the vehicle, but it could also be to the side of the vehicle near ground level. Assuming that it is below the vehicle, the supply rails can be rails that have been set at a raised level above the ground. That is, there is no need for the wheels to run across them as they can always be placed away from any possible merge or diverge. Due to the problems of skin effect when the supply is AC, it is best not to conduct electricity through the whole rail. Rather the rail becomes a support for an electrical conductor which runs on the top or to the side of the rail. The collectors either rub against this conductor or roll along it with electric conductors that collect and conduct electricity to the vehicle.
The current Tesla Model S electric car with a maximum speed of 249km/hr is an example of current electric car technology where the technology of our road system hasn't kept up with the technology of the vehicles that travel down it.
21. The sections of supply rails (catenary lines) on the route are turned on only when the vehicles are in contact with them and the vehicles are at or near full speed for that section. Note that these sections are longer than the length of a vehicle so there still is some possibility of, for example, an animal touching the track while a vehicle is on the track. These sections of the route are all well fenced off to stop any person coming onto the track. These sections of the route are away from overhead crossings or any other places where a person could access them or urinate on them as a vehicle goes past. A ground fault interrupter switch will switch off power if any person, animal or object touches one of the rails such that they or it conduct electricity to earth. The requirement for speed detection ensures that the supply rails are off in the case of a major event such as earthquake where people were being evacuated from stationary vehicles by walking along the guideway.
22. Capacitors in the vehicles are used to increase the energy transfer in the sections that the vehicle collectors are in contact with the supply rails/lines. This allows the batteries to continue being charged from the capacitors after the vehicle has passed the short sections of supply rails/lines.
23. For properties which have lost parking or otherwise without full access to a traditional road, the system will offer free or cheap parking at large parking stations. These parking stations have full access to the traditional road system as well as to the new system.
24. The track surface will be guaranteed free of bumps to a degree that allows vehicles to be lowered, compared to vehicles on ordinary roads. Dual-mode vehicles can use height adjustable suspension  to lower the ride height or ground clearance as they enter the HCORT system.
25. U turn lanes are provided at either end of the HCORT freeways so that the two lanes (one in each direction) combine to create an infinite loop. Y intersections and offshoot freeways are slightly different in the implementation of the infinite loop. The infinite loop is implemented to incorporate all the branches within a single infinite loop.
26. When HCORT freeways are at or near ground level or otherwise able to be accessed, they are fenced off. The fences will also enclose the acceleration and deceleration lanes. These fences will be substantive protection. That is, even if individuals decide to try to intrude into the guideway, the fences will make it beyond most people's capability.
27. Sidings may also be fenced off or be fenced off for part of their length. The fences may be substantive protection similar to those for HCORT freeways or relativly minor. The allowed vehicle speed allocated to that part of the siding will be related to the safety of that speed which will be mainly determined by the guideway fencing.