Transporters Vs. Hovercars

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by kcmartz, May 13, 2014.


Transporters, Hovercars, or Both?

  1. Transporters

    4 vote(s)
  2. Hovercars

    1 vote(s)
  3. Both

    19 vote(s)
  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    For the record, the original question did not touch upon Star Trek transporters at all - it was a question on personal preference, with all the facts about the Star Trek situation (in which the answer explicitly is "both" and the question need not be asked) already known.

    But civilian transporters certainly are mentioned in Star Trek, and not in a context that would involve pad-to-pad operations, either. Sisko beamed directly to the family's living room during his early Academy days, and I can't see Joe Sisko having truck with a "transporter room" inside his living room. Jake in turn mentioned "beaming in the furniture", which would be an excellent time to use the well-established ability of transporter technology to deliver loads to the exact spot where they are needed. And "Realm of Fear" has all this talk about "millions" of daily transports, which would hardly be the case if Starfleet had exclusive rights to the tech.

    What nonsense is this? A "vehicle" wouldn't alter any of that in any way. The furniture and the people involved in the scenario could be delivered where needed, when needed, by a teleporter. The "waiting" (an odd term for life simply going on) would not affect the deliveries or call for a moving storage closet.

    No, it's not - it doesn't move, so it's not a vehicle.

    But why would you sit inside a teleportation machine? This makes no sense. You choose a spot that allows you the best possible view or concealment, and any vehicle is a massive handicap in that regard (unless vehicles are commonplace, which would be untrue in a society with access to teleportation - and even that conceit would only cover the "concealment" angle while leaving the "view" handicap).

    Even in Star Trek, none of the above is remotely true. A suspect fleeing in a hovercar is as good as caught already: he can be beamed out of the car, or the entire car can be beamed to custody. Hell, spacecraft can be captured by transporter easily enough!

    So your defense is that you are a luddite? :rolleyes:

    Of course, you wouldn't have a pad. You would have a bracelet similar to what Tom Paris wears in "Non Sequitur". There could be a pad farm in Sausalito, or in orbit. And the tourists could always go to the Old Town Station to see how it was done a century ago, and enjoy the rustic ride, before taking a more modern site-to-site to lunch.

    Which means I'm on topic and you are not. :p

    But beaming individual tools or the like is routine in TNG. See for example "Peak Performance"... Doing it site-to-site with a bracelet remote is simply the civilian approach.

    It's an expression among others: "real" as in "true to the definition", rather than "existing today and available at Wal-Mart".

    Star Trek is logically impossible in the first place, though. So please stop mixing it into this.

    You certainly aren't doing a good job at that, believing that a hovercar can escape a transporter in the Trek universe...

    Indeed, there doesn't seem to be a single Trek (TNG) constraint you would have pointed out so far that would make vehicles or both/and the preferable choice.


    I would have transporters. The way they are portrayed in TNG, only without the military encumbrances. And in this thread, I get to choose. Star Trek has already made its choice and thus is excluded from the poll.

    Timo Saloniemi
  2. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 14, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    It's not a part of the OP's question, but what's available to use really comes down to economics. Which is more economical to use? Within Trek, the extensive use of hovercars and shuttles says to me that it's not always economical (or even efficient) to use the transporter. That, plus Sisko's line about transporter credits in "Explorers" suggests that transporter usage is a limited commodity for some reason. Maybe it takes far too much energy compared to a hovercraft or shuttle, maybe it uses up some other unrenewable resource, who knows?
  3. ngc7293

    ngc7293 Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 22, 2007
    Larry Niven had something similar to the Transporter. It was basically a telephone booth that could transport you from one place on the planet to the other. He had a story called 'The Alibi Machine'. The idea was that you could be in two places at once and have an alibi and be able to commit the perfect murder.

    No, I don't want to commit murder, but I would rather have the Transporter than a hover car, but I see having a hover car before the transporter.
  4. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    The sign on the door says "Trek Tech." I think maybe you're confused.

    Sisko was an academy cadet in the 24th century. That wouldn't be a civilian transporter, nor would it be possible for its 23rd century counterparts.

    It does if it teleports ITSELF when it moves from place to place.

    Because sitting OUTSIDE of it would look suspicious.;)

    Starfleet can (sometimes) do that, yes. Not because they have transporters, but because they have advanced technical and combat training and some of the most sophisticated sensor equipment the Federation has ever produced.

    And yet, Starfleet still uses shuttlecraft...:vulcan:

    The OP mentioned "transporters" not "teleporters."

    Shuttlecraft manage to evade Starfleet (and everyone else, for that matter) on a surprisingly regular basis. Why would a hovercar not be able to evade a civilian transporter operator who lacks Starfleet training, experience, advanced sensors and specialized equipment?

    It's like saying that cars can't escape from the police because of Predator Drones.

    You DO realize that starships are vehicles, right?:vulcan:
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    Just as a matter of concept: for a variety of reasons, no new invention ever fully replaces an old one. The biggest reason for that is that the original invention often benefits from the new technology and manages to stay competitive in either case.

    You wouldn't abandon vehicular traffic because transporters exist; quite the contrary, vehicle manufacturers would find ways to use transporters to make their businesses much more profitable, either by equipping their vehicles with short-range transporters (as a safety or convenience feature) or making the vehicles transporter-compatible so you can sit in your car and have the whole thing beamed to Pittsburgh where you spend the entire day flying around the skyline inspecting holographic billboards for FCC compliance. Your hovercar would be that much cheaper and more efficient since it doesn't ITSELF need to have enough power to fly to Pittsburgh.
  6. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

    Sep 3, 2009
    Danville, IN, USA
    That's an interesting idea: transporting your whole vehicle somewhere! That way, you could combine the best of both worlds--like flying a plane and having your rental car there.
  7. QuarkforNagus

    QuarkforNagus Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jun 8, 2013
    You need both.

    I have seen enough episodes to know that there are a plethora of environmental conditions or technical issues that can prevent the safe use of your transporter.

    Yes, there are many issues which can be potentially dangerous in a hovercar, but a hovercar isn't disassembling my molecules, and a hovercar can't transport me inside of a giant rock.
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    Reinvent the parking lot: instead of garages, you have bulk transporters.

    Go to your garage, order a car ("I feel like a Porsche today") and drive it to work. Return the car at the end of the day, make sure you didn't leave anything in it, beam it back to the rental lot. Like zipcars, except you never have to pick em up or drop em off.

    Better yet, you can always have your favorite car with you no matter what part of the country you're in. You take a sub-orbital shuttle to China to visit your girlfriend's dad, your car is waiting for you at the port when you get there.
  9. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

    Sep 3, 2009
    Danville, IN, USA
    Israel has developed magnetic cars, holding 2 people, that are expected to be operational by the end of next year

    It's not quite a hovercar, but it is a step forward.