Important technical breakthroughs are expected in the GTS proposal. The Department of Energy Technology at Aalborg University in Jutland, Denmark, will do both the theory- and the laboratory works.
It is our goal to create a magnetically driven, suspended, switched and platooned system.
The magnetic propulsion also includes braking and makes the system insensitive to ice and other adverse climatic conditions.
By making the vehicles magnetically suspended, the contact between vehicle and guideway is avoided. Without such contact the ride can be very silent and smooth.
The direct magnetic switching can be made instantaneously. Thereby the long time to switch, typical for troubled mechanical switches in e.g. our railways, is avoided. There will be no stones nor ice adversely affecting the switching.
Platooning the vehicles increases the capacity from say one vehicle every two seconds to say three vehicles a second at 50 km/h. With filled vehicles, the transport capacity can approach that of a subway. Platooning also enables a top speed to that of trains, e.g. 250 km/h, as the wind resistance in greatly reduced.
The "maglev" principles will be quite different from those currently used in e.g. Transrapid in Shanghai - as they would be too costly to implement. Each technology and part are optimized for energy efficiency.
Our common means of transportation have developed out of what was technically, economically and organizationally possible hundreds of years ago. This implies that all short-comings by our old means of transportation need to be questioned by the roots. Our vision is that a much better and General Transportation System (GTS) can be developed using the technologies we know today.
GTS is a wider concept than e.g. PRT (Personal Rapid Transport). GTS also includes conveyance of goods, a blend of public and private ownership and access. Vehicles which can be both podcars restricted to the guideway, carriers containing small road vehicles or cabins that can themselves access the road. That is called dual mode.
On the guideway, speeds up to 240 km/h will be possible, platooning the vehicles into trains. The platooning will also allow a capacity, approaching that of a subway. All these possible qualities of GTS create much more for a sound growth potential, than attacking safety, capacity, energy, velocity, environment and costs separately in the prevalent concepts of transportation - road and rail mainly.
In a report 2008 SIKA (Swedish Institute for transport and communications analysis, now changed into "Trafikanalys") comprehensively discussed whether alternative transport solutions, like podcars, biking and a much more intelligent car traffic can better bring forward the objectives of official transport policies, like better accessibility, less casualties, shorter travel times, strongly reduced harm to the environment and, on top of this, higher grades of efficiency - and all at the same time. The GTS concept was created in this study. In 2008 SIKA accomplished a full analysis of the national economy for a GTS. Even with very conservative assumptions the analysis resulted in a positive benefit/cost ratio for GTS; analyses of the more restricted PRT concept in other countries confirm the positive result in Sweden.