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...Take what could be a great design: A really simple, robust, lightweight, small, affordable vehicle with flexible interior space aimed squarely at the developing world and its limitations...
...That's your vision. It is reasonable, logical, and worth pursuing...
Just for the record, if this were your vision, according to your terms, I would offer the same type of support to you, for what you hope to accomplish. Even though I am, admittedly, a big idea kind of guy, I would try to think in more practical terms, to try to help you accomplish that goal.

I think both have merit, and like to try to see things from the person's perspective and help them stay clear and focused on their objectives.
 

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Maybe we could design a sealed environment that would allow it to be pressurized with oxygen. Then when natural disaster strikes, it could head up into orbit. Yeah, I know it's not my build... just sayin'...
 

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Bill Gate's reality of what he can do to change the world, and how he might approach it, is a completely different picture than what I am capable of doing.
But Gates' approach is very much rooted in reality, affordable vaccines distributed and delivered by trained local staff. Doubtless he could have airdropped these from a spacecraft with all his wealth but he didn't, he worked with existing groups to develop and fund simple robust solutions to real problems. Solutions that work.

That's your vision. It is reasonable, logical, and worth pursuing.
Actually, my vision would be promoting the retention/reinstatement of the bicycle as first choice personal transport for city dwellers.

Such a concept promotes the opposite - the idea of changing the vehicle to suit its intended environment.
Conceptually that's all well and good but the reality is it doesn't work, it never has. There is no good technical solution the the wide range of requirements the OP has decided to address whether they be a billionaire genius, a dreamer or a jobbing engineer. Playing with ideas is fun and I'm not trying to dent the OP's enthusiasm, merely to suggest (s)he picks the battle more carefully.

I'm fully aware that some of the individual ideas are easy enough to implement in isolation and could make for a thought provoking concept but other bits really aren't and by the time you start combining multiple ideas what you end up with is something that no longer works properly in any role.

If for example the goal is to be able to cross rough terrain where there has been a landslide then why on earth would you look to fly (totally unrealistic power, training and maintenance requirements for very occasional use) when there are already good solutions like a winch and ladders that work well in the real world and barely detract from vehicle capability in normal use.

jk
 

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We used to visit an aunt and uncle in Kansas City when I was a kid. They lived in a second floor apartment over looking the city street. I was mesmerized by the electric busses. I remember siting in a little bay window watching them from above. Every once in a while they would make sparks when they changed power lines as they went around a corner. I suppose they went the way of the red car in Los Angles. I don't know about The electric rail adapting to weather related climate change but the big business sure knocked the hell out of them.
 

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We used to visit an aunt and uncle in Kansas City when I was a kid. They lived in a second floor apartment over looking the city street. I was mesmerized by the electric busses. I remember siting in a little bay window watching them from above. Every once in a while they would make sparks when they changed power lines as they went around a corner. I suppose they went the way of the red car in Los Angles. I don't know about The electric rail adapting to weather related climate change but the big business sure knocked the hell out of them.
Yes, once there were also many "Inter-urban Trains" (sometimes called Trolleys). GM bought them all out and replaced them with busses so they could sell more busses. They knew that once the tracks were paved over it would never be financially feasible to reinstall tracks in the streets.
 

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And also to boost use of gasoline and diesel fuel. Another victory of private business over government services? :confused:
Well, that is one way to think about it. Another less obvious (but more accurate) way is to consider that most of these trolleys were city-owned, and that it was not until the trolleys were privatized that they were then purchased by GM.

Given our current political climate you might guess which political party most often opted to privatize those city assets - and in so guessing, I would hazard that you would guess wrong. As a youngster I read an interesting book called, "The South Shore - The last Interurban" which survived alone among its peers - in Chicago of all places. That was a long time ago, and given that it is currently perhaps the most corrupt city outside Washington in our country stands as yet another annomaly - but can be attributed mostly to the fact that it travelled far from Chicago and agreements between the many served communities worked against its unilateral privitization.

There was also much gossip about money changing hands during these backroom deals. Whatever the case, I'd say that this was a case of corruption of public office undermining the public good for political and / or financial gain.
 

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Given our current political climate you might guess which political party most often opted to privatize those city assets
Looking from the outside your two parties seem to have changed sides on many issues

The party of Lincoln!

I believe the Whigs and Tories in the UK also changed hats with the Tories becoming the party of the privileged after the Whigs imploded.

Also both Labour parties (UK and NZ) have abandoned their roots to move to the center right

So the parties of 70 years ago may have the same names but little else in common
 

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Well, that is one way to think about it. Another less obvious (but more accurate) way is to consider that most of these trolleys were city-owned, and that it was not until the trolleys were privatized that they were then purchased by GM.

.............
At least in the case of Los Angeles none of the Interurbans were city owned. Henry Huntington owned many of them until his heirs sold them to GM.
 

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Not to hijack the thread, but I think it is important to consider the political aspects of a project such as a car designed for the possible effects of climate change and severe natural (or man-made) disasters. And more important than what side of the fence one may be on, is the amount of trust we might be able to have with our governmental representatives and civil servants. When it comes to phenomena like global warming, peak oil, environmental protection, and energy efficiency, we need to have leaders who are solidly grounded in science, which disqualifies many of the right-wing who strongly believe in creationism and other supernatural concepts. And we also have great problems of morality in all parties, although it seems that, lately, the Republicans seem to have the lead:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_sex_scandals_in_the_United_States
http://articles.washingtonpost.com/..._john-r-leopold-county-executive-severna-park

And corruption in general, especially Nixon and Agnew:
http://www.smcm.edu/democracy/_assets/_documents/agnewpaper.pdf

And other examples of impropriety and hypocrisy:
http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepo...-dui-bust-is-tatest-idaho-politician-scandal/
http://www.back2stonewall.com/2013/...ay-marriage-caused-drunken-boat-accident.html

With such behavior among those who are supposed to represent our interests and hopefully serve as role models, and with kneejerk obstructionism clogging the wheels of effective government, how can we ever hope to deal with the very real and serious problems that we are facing, and which appear to be escalating? How can we deal with this level of incompetence and distraction? We're screwed... :eek:
 
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