The current main objective is a Proof-of-Principles for GTS. More than 30 scientists and engineers in 5 European countries will work together to prove the GTS concept e.g. by advanced electric, magnetic and operational laboratory experiments. GTS will be subject to interdisciplinary studies and compared to existing CTS and frontier technologies. The result will be a rough financial estimate of total lifetime costs of GTS and a small-scale demonstrator showing the unique technical features.
We propose a General Transport System (GTS). GTS will reshape and liberate our transport landscape, just as the Internet has changed the global flow of information; but now for individual, mass and cargo transport, over all distances. Market development of GTS starts by local networks giving people a new freedom of mobility "24/7". GTS strives for an optimal mix of many fundamental aspects of transport, like infrastructure, propulsion, cabins, control and social function. GTS is available on demand and, like the Internet, better customized so that what we want, is available when we want it.
One of the GTS targets is to reduce both travel time and cost by half. This increased effectiveness will generate an economic boom, comparable to that occurring when trains replaced canals or when cars replaced horses. Another impact will be a greatly reduced number of fatalities, injuries and material damage arising from transport accidents. GTS will promote safety standards and eliminate the traffic emissions, noise, and other drawbacks associated with Conventional Transport Systems (CTS).
The GTS concept consists of an advanced “shuttle” – a drive sled – running inside an elevated guideway. The drive sled is levitated, propelled, braked and switched magnetically, avoiding the maintenance and friction dependancy of wheel-rail or wheel-road based systems.
GTS cabins are suspended under the drive sled. Cabins can be automatically disconnected from the drive sled and some will have self driving capability, enabling e.g. dual-mode GTS road vehicles. Travelling from A to B can be achieved without interchange, and the travel time becomes value time, not wasted time. Also compact road cars can be transported in carriers designed for this purpose. Drive sleds can be coupled and uncoupled at speed, platooning the cabins into “trains.” This greatly enhances the system capacity to levels, today achieved only by subways. Platooned vehicles also exhibit a low air resistance, allowing a high top speed.
GTS will integrate smoothly with the existing infrastructure and provide a truly competitive alternative. The market and society’s environmental ambitions will then decide when, where and how the technology should be implemented.