The Freight Shuttle is a privately funded project that applies existing technologies in a way that would change the world of logistics. This project came out of the Texas Transportation Institute, and the initiation of this project will also take place on Texas roadways. Four great promises of the Freight Shuttle is increased efficiency, green transportation, lower costs, and increased safety.
We all know how much time can be lost on our way to work due to traffic and congestion. Since trucks hauling freight also face the same road delays, they are frequently running into congestion that hinders efficiency. The Freight Shuttles would not have to deal with typical traffic (although we still would have to as commuters) because the structures will be placed above the roadways where the shuttles will run on two tracks in both directions at a consistent speed of 60 mph. Since there are no delays to worry about, pickups and deliveries can always run smoothly.
Efficiency is also present in the Freight Shuttle transporters design. The design accommodates semi-trailers and containers as well as a way of easily loading them. A truck can simply back its trailer onto the Freight Shuttle, which twists to pick up cargo and then moves back into place to transport.
The Freight Shuttle will run on emission-free, electric powered guideway systems that are designed to be efficient, green, and cost-effective. Also, the system draws from alternative sources of energy that are available such as biofuels, wind, and solar.
Time is money so efficiency and predictability will save money. Personnel will not have to wait around for shipments due to accurate times of arrival, and load times are drastically decreased so that everyone can move onto other tasks. One of the other reasons that the Freight Shuttle will keep costs low it does not need a driver; and therefore, does not need to compensate for drivers’ salaries. In addition to these simple strategies, the Freight Shuttle utilizes a frictionless path that cuts down on electricity use, which means that cost of operation is significantly less than moving freight by trucks.
100% scanning is not currently used at ports and borders simply because the system could not handle that much volume; however, the Freight Shuttle has planned for specialized terminals that would scan freight without having to stop the freight or disrupt it. The Freight Shuttle system is also very safe for passenger and pedestrian traffic since it will be elevated above the roads and sidewalks. And the safeness of the Freight Shuttle can constantly be monitored by wireless communications, fiber optic channels, and GPS. These systems will keep up with operating conditions, location, and status.
Sounds great, but what about the difficulties of constructing this? The plans include building guideways in the medians of current highways and roadways. They claim that construction will not interfere with typical travel due to overhead construction techniques that will not close roads or cause congestion.