Uncle Jimbo's Bug Huntin' Range
They left it out in the Oort before we crawled from the sea.
The gate of Paradise.
Or the mouth of Hell.
At the beginning of the 23rd century, most advanced nations (UN, USH, the corporations, and the more developed Non-Integrated States) use antigravity vehicles for civilian transport.
Land vehicles ride on two or more repulsor generators that lift the vehicle above the surface. Over a solid surface, the vehicle travels at a normal height of 3 to 5 metres. Travelling at 2 metres or less is considered dangerous to pedestrians. Travelling below 1 metre height at high speed causes severe aerodynamic problems, requiring a Moderate manoeuvre check at cruising speed or Extreme manoeuvre at maximum speed.
Repulsors apply a wide, diffuse beam of shaped gravitational force. Any person passed over by a repulsor vehicle at or below its cruising height must make a Strength feat check or fall to the ground. Above cruising height, or within a traffic grid, the repulsor effect does not reach the ground.
The vehicle's maximum height over normal ground depends on its weight and the power of its repulsors. Travelling at maximum height requires a Moderate manoeuvre check. A vehicle can jump up to 1.5 times its maximum height on an Extreme manoeuvre check.
Soft and liquid surfaces tend to slide away from a repulsor beam, making it difficult to cross such hazards, especially at slow speed or if the liquid is choppy. On a Moderate manoeuvre check, a driver can cross smooth liquid at up to 5 metres height and not less than cruising speed. Waves above 1 metre height, travelling below cruising speed, or travelling above 5 metres height require an Extreme manoeuvre check.
Most built-up areas and major roads in the UN have traffic grids, which provide energy to antigravity vehicles and allow them to travel within defined traffic bands. Traffic bands typically start at 4 metres and stack upwards by 2.5 metres. Inner city or high-rise housing areas can have 10 or more traffic bands.
Moving from one traffic band to the next is a Routine manoeuvre (depending on traffic conditions), crossing two or three bands is Moderate, crossing more than three bands is Extreme, and travelling above or below a defined traffic band is also Extreme. A vehicle can jump its maximum height above the highest traffic band on an Extreme manoeuvre check.
The USH has traffic grids on major roads within large cities, and interstate highways. Only a few cities in the Non-Integrated States and off-Earth colonies have traffic grids.
The following speed limits in km/h apply on Old Earth:
Purchase of Vehicles
The market for vehicles is divided between Sony Ford Microsoft and various smaller planetary manufacturers. On Old Earth, these are Lada, based in the Ukraine; Volvo, based in Sweden; and General Motors, a national enterprise of the USH, which has recently bought out a Colombian competitor.
Lada makes a full range of hydrogen-powered wheeled transport (as described for PL 5), and also economy, commuter, wagon, sport, offroad and utility skycars, economy and commuter skybikes. Volvo and GM each make a full range of the skybikes, skycars and other civilian vehicles described below.
Every new vehicle is built to order in small, fully automated factories optimised for rapid assembly of multiple optional modules. High-power engines, performance steering, and equipment noted as commercially available can be installed in the factory. Controlled and military equipment must be custom-installed, but the factory can pre-install military-spec brackets and hardware slots.
New and used vehicles can be inspected (including certified independent reports), purchased and shipped using the Web. It is often possible (though extremely costly) to deliver between planets. On the other hand, delivery into a Non-Integrated region may be fraught with risk or even impossible.
(Statistics for skybikes, skycars, and transport vehicles to go here.)