About JPods, Inc.
JPods was started in 1998 by Bill James, a West Point graduate and infantry veteran to end US dependence of foreign oil. At that time it was obvious that oil-wars since 1990 would continue so long as oil-dollars funded the growing capabilities of Islamic terrorists and the US highway network depended on foreign oil. The concept to solve this problem was to combine the efficiency of freight railroads with the on-demand personal service of the Internet, to create the Physical-Internet®.
Radically more efficient and safer transportation networks are well understood. Networks are the key:
- Efficiency: The 140,000 miles of freight railroads in the US average 476 ton-miles per gallon. This is over 130 times the efficiency of moving a ton to move a person on the highway network.
- Safety: The Personal Rapid Transit (PRT or podcar) network built in Morgantown, WV as a solution to the 1973 Oil Embargo has delivered 110 million oil-free, injury-free passenger-miles since opening in 1975. In that same period 1.6 million American were killed on the highway network.
JPods combines and improves on these two types of networks by emphasizeing:
- The Prime Law of Networks. The value of a network increases exponentially based on the number of interconnected nodes. The highway network is more valuable than the freight rail network because it connects more places people and goods are to where they need to go. Typical passenger railroads lose 80 cents of every operating dollar because they do not connect enough points for people to willing pay the full cost of traveling on them. The NYC subway only loses 20 cents per dollar of operating costs because its 31% density is sufficient to attract enough riders at the price. JPods concentrate in networks economic communities were we can exceed 31% network density of moving people and cargo. Examples are:
- Feeder networks and cross connecting existing passenger railroads to increase their value by increasing the number of nodes.
- Airport economic communities, connecting hotels, to terminals, to car rental, to parking, to trains, etc....
- Ports where individual containers can be individually routed between ships and inland trains.
- Packet Size. Free markets clearly demonstrate the car is the right answer for moving people and cargo in a city, 85% of trips in the US are by car, 55% of trips in Europe are by car. But the highway is the WRONG network. The correct size packet for moving people where they which to go is 1 to 4 (maybe 6).
- Energy Self-reliance. To be sustainable the energy to power a mobility must be integrated into it physics. JPods cuts the energy required to move people and goods in cities by 90% and uses the distributed nature of the network to harvest the solar energy to power the network.
- Economic Lifeboats. JPods can build economic lifeboats, durable against rising gasoline prices and supply shock. The lifeboat paradox is that if every community had one, they would not be needed.
JPod's baseline technology was completed in 1999, combining the efficiency of freight rail with the on-demand service of the Internet. Patent #6,810,817 issued in 2004 for the use of distributed, collaborative computer networks that move physical packets, the Physical-Internet®. In 2006, a 20 foot operational demonstration was completed and demonstrated in many cities in the US and Canada. Thousands of people have gotten into that small network, touched the "Home", "Mall", "School", or "Work" buttons and moved up and down the rail to that location. The enthusiam of people was incredible. Instantly many exclaimed "We are going to be the Jetsons", referring to a cartoon where people traveled on-demand without having guide or park their car.
Here in an image from 2014 of a network setup in Atlantis Energy Systems factory in Poughkeepsie, NY.
The need for cleaner, faster, safer and more affordable transporation is illustrated by civilization killers:
- Unaffordable Energy: Life requires energy. Less affordable energy, less life. Disposable Energy, people's ability to buy energy with their take-home-pay, has been crashing since 1998. The Great Recession triggered by foreclosures as people used their mortgage payments to pay for their commutes as rising gasoline prices reduced disposable income.
- Accidents: Highway accidents kill 30,000 Americans each year at a cost of $871 billion per year.
- Congestion costs Americans $121 billion per year.
- Perpetual War: Oil-wars since 1990 to defend access to foreign oil.
- Religious War: Oil-dollars funding Islamic terrorist attacks.
- Depleting Posterity's Energy: US Peak Oil was in 1970. Depleting US oil resources caused dependence on oil imports and national debt to increase in tandem.
- Taxation Without Representation: Debt is the tax on future labor that must service and repay the debt. Mortgaging the liberty and future labor of every child in America for $53,000 to fund current oil-wars and consumption of foreign oil is done without their consent. War will result when they refuse or are unable to pass this debt onto their children.
- Socialism: Socialising pollution costs, instead of capitalizing them into the price of using oil and coal, is tilting the balance of nature into Climate Change. Federal control of the means of production in power and transport deprives Posterity of a clean environment without their consent, "The Earth belongs to the living." Thomas Jefferson watching the French Revolution shift from being about liberty to retribution.
Barrier to Innovation, Violation of the Constitution's "post Roads" Restriction
Despite the need, there is no market for transportation innovation. Like the century of rotary telephones under Federal monopoly, the Federal highway monopoly deprives people of liberty to choose cleaner, faster, safer, and more affordable transportation networks. Like the Federal communications monopoly, the highway monopoly violates the Constitution's Divided Sovereignty and "post Roads" restriction.
On Sept 14, 1787, in the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin proposed the Federal government be enumerated a power to tax to build highways and canals. James Madison recommended raising this to a power to form corporation that would accomplish tasks needed by the Federal government. George Mason reminded the delegates of the defects of the King's transportation monopoly (examples, East India Company and the Boston Tea Party). The convention rejected Dr. Franklin's motion 8 states to 3, restricting Federal taxing for infrastructure to no more than is required to defend free speech by making sure letters could be delivered.
As expressed in the of the Constitution's Preablem, Ratifying Conventions recommendations for amendments, Federalist Papers (especially #9, #10, #17, #45, #51, #57) and Amendments 9 and 10 of the Bill of Rights, soveriegnty over welfare and infrastructure are retained by the people and States. The "post Roads" restriction was specifically enumerated to preempt a Federal monopoly from creating civilazation killers far worse than the defects of the King's transportation monopoly.
Luckly, leadership in Secaucus, NJ passed a law restoring free markets based on Performance Standards. JPods expects that as the first solar-powered mobility network is built in Secaucus, the Constitution can be enforced, liberty to choose alternative networks restored, and a market will form to meet the needs for sustainable infrastructure.
Opening the Market in China
Barriers to innovation have been less severe in China than in the US. JPods has existing Letters of Interest for potential JPods networks including customers such as Anshan, Kunming, Linyi, and Jiu Zhai Gou.
JPods intends to build a privately funded mobility network in Secaucus, New Jersey, to demonstrate a cost effective way to move people, cargo, and waste while creating sustainable jobs. Computer controlled, suspended vehicles move 1-6 people or cargo on elevated rails and operate at 10% of the energy required by cars, buses, and trains. Solar panels mounted over the rails can gather enough energy to power the network. We offer on-demand, personal mobility regardless of age, ability, or wealth.