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GTS - a general transportation system

What is a general transportation system, or GTS? This presentation presents the idea behind GTS, where it comes from, and why it is part of the solution for a modern sustainable society.
by

Linda Byström

on 29 September 2015

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Transcript of GTS - a general transportation system

Reclaiming the streets - a new era of city planing
In addition to energy efficiency and operation cleanliness, GTS provides a completely noise and emission free mean of transport. With a fully automated system suspended in the air, it runs free of other traffic, people and animals and thus eliminate traffic accidents. Ground level is preserved for nature, people & animals.

GTS eliminates the need for stations and terminals that drive congestion of traffic. When appropriate the GTS can be located underground, above the roofs or even inside buildings.

In sum this allows for a completely new and creative way of city planning that is impossible to even imagine with today's transportation technologies.
GTS - a general transportation system
Current status &
needed investments

A transportation system for a sustainable future
GTS is developed with sustainability in mind.

The concept has been developed in order to
minimize
the
negative impacts
of transportation:


Energy
,
land use &

pollution.
+

overlapping economic investments.

Yet it recognizes our societal and personal need of a flexible and scalable transport system. A system that is actually
preferable for the end user
.

Energy efficiency
GTS is designed to be extremely energy efficient. The vehicles are driven directly from the grid, and utilize low friction maglev technology. The system will be significantly more energy efficient than electric cars.

GTS vehicles are lighter and cheaper
than the corresponding electric car. The acceleration power taken from the grid momentarily is enormous, and when braking, power can be regenerated to the net.
No fossil fuel dependency
In Sweden only, road traffic currently consumes 85 TWh of gas and diesel. This corresponds to burning of fuel contained in a cube with sides of 200 m. The resulting by-product is 20 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.

With a system that has the flexibility of a car, a capacity great enough for large city-transits and heavy road transport, the majority of these 85 TWh could be replaced by renewable electric energy.

The GTS infrastructure itself can function as infrastructure for renewable energy capture such as solar cells or wind turbines.
Setting the standard
- the foundation of GTS
Mechanical components
Control systems
Urban planning
Auxiliary systems
System modeling & analysis
In industrialized countries, transportation is source of about 1/3 of human greenhouse gas emissions.

It takes up a huge amount of land area, in conflict with an increasing population, agricultural needs and biodiversity.

As a result of production and use of inefficient infrastructure and vehicles, air and water pollution is causing increasing health and environmental problems.
Transportation -
a major part of the greatest challenge of our time

Our current modes of motorized transportation is part of a huge problem for sustainability in its widest context. Both in ecological, economical and social terms. Unfortunately it is also the foundation of the modern, industrialized world.

Transportation and mobility is key to:
specialization and support to productivity – allowing production and consumption of goods and services at different locations
finding employment, and access to employees and expertize
finding customers and having access to goods and services

"Economic growth has always been dependent on increasing the capacity and rationality of transport" (Martin Stopford)
Political ambition & current research
We can talk about a
sustainable future and continued growth
, but with the current systems of transport (highway, rail, air, ports and waterways), and our understanding of the importance of mobility, this is a
contradiction of terms
.

In order to reach our environmental goals we need a major decrease in our ecological footprint. And there are no indicators this is possible if we stick to the systems of transportation we have at hand today.

This is a dilemma of great proportions in need of major research investments. The needed break through research is not done by trying to optimize old technology...

It is done by creating a new disruptive transportation technology that completely changes the way we think, plan for, and use transportation
.



Innovation and development in
operations
depend on the available
vehicles
&
infrastructure
.
Innovation and development of
vehicles
depend on the available
infrastructure
.


Not conducing research on
infrastructure
is like trying to optimize physical mail-delivery instead of conduction research on digital communication protocols.

Utilizing the full circle of innovation and development
When looking for a technological solution, we need to regard the big picture.

Transportation can be divided into
infrastructure
,
vehicles
and
operations
- yet current research is almost solely conducted on two out of three objects in the picture; vehicles and operations.
Innovation and development of
transportation infrastructure
depend on political will and huge long term investments. There are high barriers to cross....




...but as the
basis
for all other aspects and possibilities of technological development in transportation, it also has
the greatest potential for change.
The GTS-foundation believes there is a need for a giant leap in technological development of transportation. A disruptive leap, at least as great as the one human kind experienced when the automobile was introduced as an alternative to horses over 100 years ago.
Back to the drawing board...
...thinking out of the box
The purpose of the GTS-foundation is to pursue scientific research, development, application, standardization, education and licensing relating to a new general transportation system (GTS).

Actual construction and physical development can, and is meant to, be performed by independent companies to the specifications of the foundation. The goal is to promulgate and implement an international GTS standard.

The solution is a description of a system standard designed for (initially) local implementations throughout the world, but ensuring the possibility to connect all individual systems into one continuous and seamless transportation system, - a general transportation system. This allows for a naturally organic growth of accessibility.


The GTS concept is at a stage where some additional details remain to be investigated, before a first test track can be implemented.

The system will visually probably resemble current “pod-car” systems. But with a perfected technical & physical design adapted to greater flexibility. This in order to meet transportation demands and needs in city & urban planning as well as inter-regional connections.

GTS focuses on the infrastructure, and want to provide the foundation for a new era of transport innovation.
GTS is designed to cater all types of transport; goods, public and private, and to fulfill the full rage of transport needs; from local transit to international travel and transport of goods. It is designed to be able to replace current needs of cars, buses, trailers, trains, air freight and air travel.

Its versatility can generate high industrial momentum, creating high quality at moderate prices.

GTS is mechanically constructed to minimize friction and ensuring highest possible energy efficiency. The construction requires a very small land footprint area and is adaptable to varying landscapes and existing infrastructure, making large land excavations unnecessary and land preservation possible.

The GTS technology can be divided into three parts:
Mechanical components
Control systems &
Auxiliary systems
Control systems are designed to keep track of each individual vehicle and optimize the flow of traffic. Communication protocols are designed to allow vehicles to communicate with each other and the user.

User friendly interfaces make it easy for users to interact with the system; whether it is the logistics planner of a cargo company, maintenance personnel or the every day traveler who want to plan and book public or personal transport.

By opening up for user application development the system can make use of all the innovation power today's information technology has to offer.
Mechanically the GTS system consists of beams, mostly supported by posts. Inside the beam a drive sled carries a suspended cabin or cargo module.

The beam itself consist of two parts; the guideway, and the horizontal supporting structure. Different supportive structures can be used for different purposes and different spans. The GTS system is expected to be able to handle spans greater than 100 meters. The size of the guideway is minimized and the supportive structure can be architecturally adapted to fit the immediate surroundings.

Vertical posts are designed to be safe from collision by road traffic and to be easily adjusted if the ground settles. Shock absorbing foundations are used in regions of seismic activity.
A number of supportive systems need to be developed such as;
Terminals where GTS integrates with existing modes of transportation (GTS itself is not dependent on stations or terminals as we know them)
Maintenance and quality control systems
Safety features and controls
Energy supply and storage

The GTS supporting structure can also support other complementing infrastructure such as street light, renewable energy capture and storage, communication cables or why not charging points for electric cars and bicycles.
With this in place it will be possible to investigate and harvest the fruits of the system.
Why now?
The time for change is now. We need to make investments that prepare us for the future. Companies are preparing to adapt, but investments are done in minor modifications of 200 year old systems. We get less and less result for every crown we give.

Spending large amounts on at times marginal detailing can not only make us loose valuable time. It can also drain investment budgets needed to make the change our future really requires.

A fully functional track, operating locally, can be ready in only a few years - if we want to.
Environmental impact calculations & profitability in public finances
Public finance calculations on gains of GTS involves gains to society from for instance:
less travel time
lower emission levels
reduction of noise and light pollution
increased security
less energy consumption
greater flexibility in urban and rural planning
less environmental conflict through great reduction of the environmental impact and cost of transportation
increased accessibility for all travelers and goods
decreased cost of construction and operations



Fast & flexible
GTS bring you directly from your home, in a speed adapted to busy city life, to inter-regional tracks that are expected to have a top speed of 240 km/hour. Non-stop, around the clock. Any time you want.

Travel at high speeds is made possible by a technology called platooning. Platooning is a digital connection of vehicles that minimizes air resistance, and allows for coupling and decoupling at speed.

Within the Scandinavian capital triangle, travel with GTS can be made point to point, faster than by airplane. With the possibility to stop anywhere on the way for a biodynamic lunch at a local farm.
Do we really think this will revolutionize our travel 20 years from now?
When this is what we used for communication 30 years ago?

And the greatest potential to actually make a difference that matters.
Not only today. But 50 years from now.
In its current form, transportation requires huge energy consumption and has a negative impact on climate and the local and global environment.



Today's transportation systems suffer from a critical decrease in efficiency. They work near, at, or over capacity. There is a high degree of overlapping infrastructure that is expensive to develop and maintain.

Maintaining safety for humans, animals and the environment is an ever increasing problem. The cost-benefit ratio is increasing rapidly in our attempts to overcome the problem.

Over all, it results in an unacceptably high and increasing cost of transportation both in ecological, economical and social terms. It is non-sustainable. Is it acceptable?

Our society has unfortunately become dependent on a system that is also a threat to life as we know it.
Why not ask the question:

"If we could start again. What would we do different?

Can we create a means of transport that integrate seamlessly with our current systems in the short term, yet powerful enough to outperform them all in the long term?

If we had the transportation system of the future here now, what would it look like?
"
Despite this, the transport sector has been curiously free of trailblazing changes during the last decades. Transportation has consequently become a sanctuary for obsolete methods in a time where other technologies such as bio medicine and information technology have made enormous progress.

GTS is an attempt to provide the transport sector with the power to change, by means of technological advancement. Trying to make modern transportation part of the solution, not the problem.
"By the late 1800s, the problem of horse
pollution
had reached unprecedented heights. The growth in the horse population was outstripping even the rapid rise in the number of human city dwellers. American cities were drowning in horse manure as well as other unpleasant byproducts of the era’s predominant mode of transportation: urine, flies,
congestion
, carcasses, and
traffic accidents
."

From Horse Power to Horsepower, Eric Morris
DEVELOPMENT OVER TIME
POSSIBLE TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT
Again we are at a time in history where true sustainable progress can only be achieved by disruptive innovation.

With a technology that redraws the map of possibilities; removing inherited drawbacks, considering environmental vulnerability, respecting the needs of a modern society and recognizing individuals freedom of choice.

In short - a new leap of development!
Start of a new era
Initially, GTS can be implemented locally and regionally to solve immediate and location dependent infrastructure problems (such as public transportation systems) around the globe. But GTS is not designed to be a simple complement to existing systems.

It is designed to accommodate a new sustainable way of planning. Roads can be primarily adapted to pedestrian and bicycles. There is no need to allocate valuable city space for parking as vehicles can be efficiently stored remotely or under ground. Publicly or privately shared vehicles ensures optimal use of resources rather than taking up storage space.

Vehicles can be effectively used as mass-transport in rush-hours, and allow for "transport-on-demand" in off-peak hours. Cost of service is in proportion to actual use.

As passengers easily bring their bike, or even a small electric car, the system integrates directly with existing infrastructure at the end of the GTS track.

Travel time is transformed to a stress free leisure activity - for everyone.
What would it take to make transport innovations so ground breaking and revolutionary, it would make first page news...?

Universal access
GTS provides efficient transportation to all at a low cost. Labor markets and leisure time freedom is equally accessible to everyone, without private vehicle investments or storage.

Standard cabins are adapted to people with physical and mental disabilities and easily distributed and shared on the automated network.Cabins can operate both as public and shared private transport as needed.
One system -
all kinds of transport
GTS is NOT designed for ONE particular type of transport. It has been designed to meet the needs of ALL kinds.

GTS combines the benefits of existing transportation systems, while removing its drawbacks and inherited limitations from a distant past. Investigations show that 70% of our transit, travel and freight can be handled by car-sized cabins. Platooning ensures maximum efficiency on long distances, yet the smaller cabins allow for a more efficient "direct delivery" of the goods to the end user.
But what about esthetics...?
It is clear that a possible disadvantage of any high rail system, compared to existing modes of transportation, is the possible experienced of an unfamiliar visual intrusion.

However, GTS aims at developing a standard, not a fixed set of rails an cabins. This allows industrial and landscape designers to fine tune expressions that fit in new and green city scenes or rural landscapes.

Visual intrusions are easier to control and adapt than the ever present noise pollution we are surrounded by today. Since GTS is automatically controlled it also runs without cabin lights, making light pollution a thing of the past.
Land use and reuse
GTS has a very small physical footprint.

Most of the early construction can be done using land already appropriated for roads or rail traffic, thus expanding capacity without taking up new land or causing damages to the environment.

For new developments GTS can be constructed in combination with small roads, allowing for a smooth transition between the new and the old ways of transportation.

Hopefully, in the future, we see new developments in harmony with nature, where roads as we know them are unnecessary.
With a greater use of a more customer friendly, public GTS, reduced subsidies for public transport can be expected, compared to today's system.

In addition reduced investments in road and rail are expected due to less need for transport mode redundancy (i.e. investments of parallel construction of road and rail), and a much lower amount of needed land acquisition.

Construction of the GTS-track will in itself be a cost efficient system compared to existing modes, due to for example smaller tunnels & less land preparation. Modular construction and possibility to optimize & prefabricate will also contribute.


With the possibility to effortlessly bring bikes or other self-powered transportation, and being able to pick-up and bring passengers close to home, GTS can be a integral part of continued focus on biking and walking for short distances. The system therefor support the goal to minimize total motorized transportation need and contribute to general health improvement.

With GTS there is also expected to be less conflict between different aspects of planning; such as prioritizing between transport of goods & public transport on rails, use of land area to roads and housing instead of food production, or transport dependency vs. the need to minimize environmental impact.
GTS allows both goods and passenger transport to make use of specialized designs to fit a particular need; such as transport of animals, waste transported to power plants, or cabins designed for emergency use. With direct access to emergency rooms GTS could enable efficient and safe transport to or between hospitals, ensuring treatment at a location best fitted to handle a particular patients condition.
GTS can accommodate dual, or even triple mode vehicles that run both on the GTS track, roads, or even water. The standard and our imagination will set the limit.
Why not do your work-out in a specialized cabin for training on your way to work? Bring your friends and perhaps you could even contribute with some energy to the ride while riding the "GTS indoor bicycle" - like a modern type draisine?

And last but not least;
transportation enables social interaction with family, friends and communities.
And it gives people access to education, healthcare and cultural experiences.
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