Skywires are a scheme for fast transportation within cities. Here are its features.
Throughout the city there are poles a few hundred feet high. I don't know the best height. Between the poles are strung cables. Hanging from the cables are wires capable of carrying 400 kg. There are motors capable of moving the wires along the cables and up and down. Mechanisms are provided for transferring a wire from one cable to another so it can travel about the city. Hanging from the wires are carriers; the most obvious kind is a cabin that can hold two to four people, but there are also one person open carriers. The whole system is computer controlled.
A person wanting to travel requests a carrier with his cell phone. When the cabin descends at his location, he or they get in and enter the destination. The cable reels up the carrier high enough to clear obstacles, transports it horizontally to the destination, and lets it down.
The performance that can be achieved depends greatly on the strength to weight ratio of the materials used. I hold great hopes for carbon nanotube materials, but steel might be good enough. It also depends on the performance of the motors and of the control systems.
In order to avoid oscillation, it may be desirable to suspend the carrier on three wires attached to different cables.
Skywires has the advantage that it can be tried out in a limited area. Moreover, the construction of a skywires system does not tie up much land. How much visual space it takes will depend on how thin the towers, cables and wires can be made.
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