Automated Transport Systems Bury Freight Traffic Underground

By: | February 9th, 2014

Megacities & Metropolitan Areas Need Underground Cargo Transport

Those who have lived in crowded urban areas have experienced streets choked with delivery trucks idling loudly while emitting poisonous, acrid fumes into the air.┬áMany have heard of the “hyperloop” project recently popularized by Elon Musk, but a huge number of scientists, engineers and companies around the globe have been working on tube-like underground freight transport systems that would provide a solution to the worst aspects of urban traffic congestion.

Capacity Limits of Roads & the Need for Transport Tubes

“Large diameter” tubes, those one foot in diameter or larger, have been conceived for moving freight and packaged goods. CargoCap of Germany, for example, has developed aerodynamic “Caps” carrying two euro-pallets each and traveling on electric-powered wheels. Lateral guide rollers keep the Caps on the track.

Caps consume low amounts of energy, can be constructed at low cost, have long lifetimes and need minimal maintenance.

Cargo Tunnel – A New Utility Service

Motor vehicle trips are usually undertaken for the purpose of moving goods. The vast majority of trips taken in automobiles, for this purpose, consume more energy for the transport of the vehicle itself, rather than for the transport of the goods. A smaller vehicle as part of an underground transport system could move goods to homes using far less energy. The tunnel system would have relatively small automated robotic vehicles.

Researchers at the University of Washington have been keeping track of “next generation surface transport systems” for the past 15 years. You can learn more about the transport systems here.

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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