Highway Monorail for Trucks
This idea incorporates driverless autopilot technologies, that once engaged allow the driver to be hands free. The concept could not only drastically improve fuel economy, but it could also significantly reduce the need for road maintenance and tire replacement.
The Stinger is a monorail automobile hybrid concept. Long straight stretches of highway would be outfitted with a monorail in the center of the truck lane flush with the roadway. Using the autopilot technology, the stinger is a steel wheel fixed to a strut that hydraulically engages with the monorail with enough pressure to offset the payload of the vehicle plus any vehicle weight that could be safely displaced. The vehicle would then be riding on rubber tires as well as the steel wheels, reducing friction and improving fuel efficiency.
This idea is in its infancy. I am interested in collaborating with people and/or companies interested in building a prototype and testing feasibility. Currently, there are trucks that use air bags to engage extra sets of wheels when the truck is carrying a load. This idea is a similar concept; however, the wheel would be made of steel and would be located in the center of the axle. I believe this concept has potential to greatly increase fuel efficiency as well as reduce tire wear and road maintenance.
Photo credit to futureatlas.com.