is a design for compact, electrically powered highways for use by electric vehicles with autonomous driving capability. This includes private cars, public transportation, shared transportation and light freight. The electric roadways are designed for rubber tired vehicles, but are called “tracks” because they use single lanes (i.e. they have no rails as railways do).
EVs can travel on TEV’s electric highways at much higher speeds and in far greater safety than even the latest and greatest in high-tech cars can on a motorway today. Automatic control enables close-coupling of vehicles (described by some as ‘convoying’ or ‘platoons’), so TEV has a vastly greater passenger carrying capacity than traditional roads and even high speed commuter trains. Since the vehicles are powered directly with electricity as they travel, there is no limit to how far they can drive without recharging; in fact, batteries are recharged during the journey, during which time the EVs burn no petroleum and produce no local emissions. About time, we say!
TEV’s design includes both “single mode” vehicles that stay on the track at all times and “dual mode” vehicles that can also be driven manually on normal roads. Dual mode transportation is not a new concept, but recent advances in technology now make it practical to implement.
TEV Project is an open-source initiative that was formally incorporated as a non profit company in 2014 following a flood of positive feedback from the concept’s soft launch. The project invites collaboration and investment in an open design of TEV infrastructure.
If you are visiting this website, you probably already know that the world desperately needs a better form of transport than those methods we use today – something that can address issues of capacity, fuel and infrastructure. A change is inevitable when you consider the facts:
– in the next 20 years, more cars are expected to be built than in the auto industry’s entire 120 year history.
Source: World Bank
– In developed economies, passenger transport volumes in 2050 are expected to be up to 50% higher than in 2010. Source: OECD
– EV implementations can form part of intelligent city strategies that embed electrification of transport into the wider context of comprehensive urban infrastructure programs (Plug-in Electric Vehicles: Changing Perceptions, Hedging Bets)
WHAT IS TEV / WHAT IS THE TEV PROJECT?
TEV is the future of the highway, TEV Project is making it happen, Don’t miss our videos
of how TEV could work – it’s the easiest way to understand the concept!
WHY IS THE TEV PROJECT OPEN-SOURCE?
TEV’s huge potential calls for a collaborative development process that invites talented contributors from around the globe to shape its future. TEV Project is looking for innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world to get involved and is working on links with automotive companies, engineering companies, parcel delivery firms, power delivery companies, universities, governments and private investors to take TEV forward.
WHO IS BEHIND THE TEV PROJECT?
The project was founded by the inventor Will Jones, founder of Philadelphia Scientific who had the idea for TEV, and his daughter Caroline Jones Carrick, a specialist in communications who created the open-source project to share it with the world.
WHERE IS THE TEV PROJECT BASED?
Because of its open source ideology, TEV Project aims to be a truly international initiative, drawing upon the foremost expertise of innovators, companies and governments all over the world. At this point the project has bases in the UK and USA. You can get in touch with us via our CONTACT US
WHY DOES THE WORLD NEED TEV?
We don’t have the option of keeping things the way they are. In terms of passenger capacity, flexibility, safety, cost-effectiveness, energy efficiency and pollution reduction, current transportation methods will not meet the demands of the future. No road or rail system will ever be capable of handling the astonishing increases predicted in population, private car ownership and infrastructure build costs, among many other challenges we face. TEV addresses all of these challenges, making it a truly 21st century transportation solution.
HOW DOES TEV WORK?
TEV is a design for an electrified highway network which allows electric and hybrid vehicles to travel at high speed for thousands of miles without the need for charging, and under computer control. TEV users access the track by driving their EV or hybrid to the TEV station ‘portals’ which control access to the network. Vehicles are checked for compatibility and safety and the user specifies a destination. TEV’s computers take full control of the vehicle, guiding it up the access ramp and ensuring that it is up to full speed before joining the main TEV track. The computers keep vehicles an optimal distance from each other, grouping them into ‘convoys’ to boost capacity and improve aerodynamic efficiency. All the while, the vehicle is being powered by the TEV track, meaning that there are no local emissions and no limits to the range of journey.
WOULD TEV BE SAFE?
Yes. TEV is intrinsically safe; its design rules out the major causes of road accidents, including the biggest one which is driver error. Weather problems, poor road surfaces and animal crossings don’t exist with TEV. Unlike fast trains which can take one or two kilometres to stop, TEV’s rubber tyres enable vehicles to slow down or stop quickly if required. As TEV only uses on and off ramps for network access, there is no need for intersections or level crossings. Before being allowed to access the TEV track, all vehicles would be subjected to an automated diagnostic check to ensure that it is suitable for the journey. There is restricted access which would exclude unsuitable vehicles such as large trucks, open-bed pickups, roof racks, trailers, motorcycles etc.
WOULD PETROL-DRIVEN VEHICLES BE A THING OF THE PAST?
Yes and no. In a world with TEV, lovers of petrol engine vehicles (like classic car enthusiasts) could still enjoy driving them on normal roads. TEV does not prescribe how vehicles are used off of its tracks. People who want to use any type of vehicle not permitted on the track can still do so freely on normal roads. Having said that, it is likely that over time, electric and hybrid vehicles will be so convenient thanks to TEV that there will be little reason to use petrol vehicles. For car users who live far from a TEV portal – or for taxis, delivery vehicles, buses and anyone else who needs a driving range on the road greater than a pure EV provides – hybrids can meet their needs on and off the TEV track.
IS TEV JUST FOR LONG DISTANCE TRAVEL OR IS IT SUITABLE FOR CITIES?
TEV is particularly good at tackling the challenge of commuter traffic into cities because of its passenger capacity. It could deliver other significant benefits in an urban environment, including automated parking, reduction of traffic jams, cleaner air and a more pleasant atmosphere for pedestrians, cyclists etc. TEV functions well for both city and suburban lifestyles.
WILL WE NEED TO INVENT NEW CARS TO RUN ON TEV TRACKS?
No. A defining component of TEV’s design is that it uses mass-produced cars. The typical private TEV car is envisioned to be a ‘compact’ car with room for four people plus luggage – a common sight on roads today – but with a modification that allows it to be directly powered on the TEV track. All of the other technologies needed to make cars work on TEV tracks, from rubber tires to the drive-by-wire control systems, have already been developed by the major manufacturers and exist now. The TEV Project recommends that TEV be developed to a single global design standard. That means TEV vehicles will simply need to comply with that universal standard within basic parameters relating to size, shape and connectivity to the tracks to work across a network. TEV does introduce new possibilities for new driverless vehicles (ones that never leave the TEV track) and new kinds of public transport vehicles, so there is an opportunity to create exciting new designs in these categories (though this would not require new inventions or breakthroughs in technology).
CAN I STILL DRIVE MY FAVOURITE BRAND OF CAR?
We don’t see why not. Today’s car manufacturers are the proven experts at designing, building and marketing vehicles that consumers and businesses want to buy, so the TEV Project relies on that know-how to deliver the best TEV-compatible vehicles.
IS TEV JUST FOR CAR USERS?
No. TEV is ideal for a wide variety of public service and utility vehicles as well as private cars. Mini-buses, driverless taxis and mini-trains could all use the track. In fact, it is conceivable that the initial TEV application will be a 100% public transport version of TEV, implemented in place of a rail-based alternative, using driverless vehicles that do not leave the track. In like-for-like comparisons, a TEV public transport line could deliver higher capacity and greater flexibility than trains are able to do. Because TEV vehicles are bunched into convoys automatically, the overall carrying capacity of TEV for freight and public transport far exceeds that of current highways or high-speed train systems.
ARE THE TECHNOLOGIES FOR TEV REALLY ALREADY IN PLACE?
Yes. Because TEV uses the normal, modern electric or hybrid car of today, you might say the hard work has already been done. Excellent EVs and hybrids have been developed. The software to deliver drive-by-wire technology exists. TEV doesn’t need any breakthroughs, new batteries or propulsion systems. Check out our OTHER COOL IDEAS
page which includes some references to driverless vehicle and ehighway technology in operation already.
DOES TEV OFFER ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS?
Big time. Because it makes the electric car functional way beyond anything that can be imagined today, TEV could hugely reduce global dependence of transport on petrol and diesel fuels, while making local traffic emissions a thing of the past. TEV’s design is inherently energy-efficient. Overall energy consumption per passenger mile is reduced by ensuring vehicles on the track are automatically grouped in convoys that hugely improve aerodynamic performance, and by directly powering vehicles instead of charging/discharging batteries. TEV infrastructure is very compact and would have an astonishingly small environmental impact compared with traditional highways. TEV’s electric highways, or tracks, are so high capacity by design, we calculate a single TEV lane would be equivalent to at least 10 lanes of highway.
WHERE WOULD ALL OF TEV’S ELECTRICITY COME FROM?
Clearly anyone interested in EVs has an interest in how we can best generate the electricity they use. Though TEV Project is not an energy project, we are aware that exciting developments in power generation being made in areas such as renewables and thorium technology, and we hope TEV will have clean energy sources in the near future. Electricity consumption is increasing across the globe, making the challenge of generating clean energy a pressing issue for everyone. The electricity TEV does consume is used extremely efficiently. There are many reasons why this is the case, including the fact that directly powering a vehicle’s electric drive train is the most efficient method of operating it (more so than charging a battery, then running the vehicle from the battery).
WHAT ABOUT THE COST OF TEV?
One of the key factors for TEV’s likely success is its low cost in comparison with other transport infrastructure solutions. Its construction cost per passenger mile would be far lower than that of conventional highways. TEV tracks and enclosures could be constructed quickly using modular components, and the design lends itself to automated maintenance. TEV tracks have small footprints when compared with existing highways. This makes it possible to use existing roads (such as a lane of motorway) or rights of way (such a disused train line) and tunnels for new TEV tracks, saving the need for completely new development.
WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO INVEST IN TEV?
TEV represents enormous investment potential for private enterprises or governments, as returns could be generated quickly through user fees (or tolls), automatically collected..