I strongly oppose allowing self-driving trucks on public highways. The last thing I want to see is a loaded semi barreling down the highway with no one on board.
I have a design for a pandemic-era passenger and freight long-haul transportation system that uses electric self-driving, self-isolating rail cars on our existing rail infrastructure by simply adding a third rail for power, monitored and controlled by Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories equipment, on about 20,000 miles of track. The center rail would only be hot during the moment the "smart" vehicle is on that section.
The tracks form a mesh network so there is more than one way to get between any two hubs. There would not be a central control system. The track controllers form a neural network that knows the condition and capacity of each section of track. The smart rail vehicles know where they are going and the track knows the best way to get there.
Passenger pods could be coupled together for larger isolation groups and/or freight pods can be added for carrying your personal car or other supplies to your destination. This would not be nearly as costly to build as high-speed rail, and really, what is your hurry? In wide open areas, we could safely be going around 100 mph, while enjoying the scenery and the fresh clean air or sleeping, working, watching movies and playing games on the internet. Rail pods could also be privately owned and parked in smart-rail parking lots until needed.
Initially, there would be about a dozen smart-rail hubs around the country near major cities where passenger pods and freight pods can be unloaded to conventional highway vehicles or self-coupled to conventional trains for transit to the destination terminal. Self-driving “engine” vehicles will also be able to haul conventional rail cars between smart-rail hubs across the country. At seaports, containers would be offloaded directly onto flat-bed freight-pods and sent on their way.
We need a 3-lane highway from Emmett to Council. It makes no sense to leave all of the northern Idaho economy disconnected from Boise.
All transportation infrastructure exists primarily for commercial purposes and therefore are the responsibility of business. This includes public transportation systems that convey workers from their homes to their place of employment. Commuting to work will now be a business expense rather than a worker expense. It is not the responsibility of the worker to deliver himself to your place of business. Brick and mortar retailers will need to pay for customer commuting costs to compete with online retailers. For these reasons, it may make sense to make all public transportation free for workers, students and customers. New infrastructure projects would be funded through business taxes or business user fees.
Urban population densities are unnatural, unhealthy, obsolete and exist solely for commercial purposes and as such, all sanitary water and sewer system infrastructures, which are required to support healthy urban population densities, exist solely for commercial purposes and therefore are the responsibility of business for funding.