The QwikLane uses small, specially equipped, private conventional automobiles for both street transportation and for high-speed longer distance trips on the QwikLane roadway. For city driving they are street legal private cars with standard controls. For longer distances they become part of a constant speed stream of automated vehicles on an inexpensive, prefabricated, lightweight, steel, roadway, that is usually built as an elevated structure above existing roads and freeways. Because the same vehicle is capable of operating in both environments – in manual mode on conventional streets and in automated mode on the QwikLane guideway – these are often referred to as “Dual Mode” automobiles.
Thus, a commuter leaves his home in his own vehicle, drives in a normal manner under manual control over city streets to a nearby roadway check in station. The master computer then communicates with the onboard controller and, upon confirmation that the vehicle is authorized and roadway-ready, commands it to accelerate under onboard automatic control, up an onramp to the precise roadway speed of 100 feet/second and enter a vacant vehicle sized "cell" in the stream of vehicles. The constant speed, close spacing of vehicles results in a throughput of many times the number of vehicles per hour than conventional freeway.
While entering, exiting and traveling on the roadway, all vehicles are monitored and directed by the master computer. The onboard control system serves a function similar to that of an aircraft autopilot, maintaining constant vehicle speed, and proper heading on the roadway, precise vehicle to vehicle spacing and precise control for entry and exit with no human control or intervention.