American Society of Civil Engineers

Automated Electric Transportation: A Way to Meet America’s Critical Issues

by Kevin Heaslip, M.ASCE, Kevin C. Womack, F.ASCE, and Jeff Muhs

Leadership and Management in Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 1, January 2011, pp. 23-28, (doi:

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Document type: Feature Article
Abstract: President Obama has set national goals to reduce the production of greenhouse gases in this country. It is now Congress’s turn to follow the president’s lead and provide legislative leadership in dealing with this country’s petroleum use, greenhouse gas production, and rebuilding of our transportation infrastructure. This paper describes one concept that would help America deal with all three of these critical issues. It is a bold, new approach to transportation in America that integrates energy, vehicle, highway, and communication infrastructures into a flexible, convenient, and automated electric transportation (AET) system. AET has the unique potential to simultaneously and dramatically reduce petroleum use, carbon emissions, air pollution, traffic congestion, and highway crashes in the United States while creating millions of new jobs. It could save the U.S. economy trillions of dollars over the next few decades and enable GDP growth rivaling the economic value derived from constructing the Interstate Highway System.

ASCE Subject Headings:
United States
Electric power

Author Keywords:
Climate change
Greenhouse gas production
Vehicle automation