Berlin's roads are starting to reach capacity, with the A100 being the busiest Autobahn in Germany with over 170 000 cars a day, yet the rails right next to it are completely empty, with one train every couple of minutes. What a waste of an expensive infrastructure.
Let's use it! Instead of 60 carriages/hour up to 10 000 intermodal vehicles/hour!
Take the railway tracks currently being used by the S-Bahn with the ring, the north-south crossing, the east-west crossing and the arteries out to the suburbs and use them as an electric high speed transport infrastructure and integrate this into the road infrastructure.
It's like a 12 lane CO2 free highway!
Intermodal vehicles that are driver controlled on the road can pick up passengers or cargo at source, proceed to drive autonomously on existing rails under computer control while charging their batteries, and then deliver the passengers or cargo via road to the desired destination. Point2Point! Fast! CO2 free. Using 1/8 of the energy!
And by using the EXISTING rail infrastructure.
In 1964 the famous science fiction author Isaac Azimov predicted how the world would be in 50 years - in2014.
He envisaged coffee machines, video conferencing, LED walls, tablets, food processors, battery powered tools, large 3D TV screens, mobile communication...
These predictions came true and they are all around us and part of our lives. He also predicted autonomous cars driving on virtual rails....
" America's Independant Electricty Light and Poser Companies" Advertisement in 1957 - Electricity may be the Driver / www.paleofuture.com
"One day your car may speed along an electric super-highway, its speed and steering automatically controlled by electronic devices in the road. Highways will be made safe - by electricity! No traffic jams... no collisions... no driver fatigue."
Sadly this advertisement and Isaac Asimov's predictions have not come true. He did not envisage cities and highways that have been degraded to parking lots, with traffic jams being the norm, not the exception. And he did not foresee that 99% of all road vehicles would still be fossil-fuel based.
City and urban transportation, either by car or mass transit, has become a daily nightmare for us. Travel in any major city of the world has become an ordeal.
Berlin is not as bad as London, but is getting to be as bad rapidly, long before 2030.
It currently takes 30 min to 1 hour to get into the city from the suburbs. and 1-2 hours from city limits to city limit. Irrespective of which mode of travel (car, bus, train, bicycle) you choose
London suburb to city center not under 2 hours, City limit to city limit can take up to 6 hours. Simply put, a transportation nightmare. And this will be Berlin if we don't radically change!
And we also know that transportation causes 30% of our CO2 emissions. Of this 50% is from road vehicles using fossil fuel. And we know that CO2 emissions are not really beneficial to our planet's health.
There are 1,3 million cars in Berlin. Of that 2000 are electric! That's 0,15%! And that's being called a great success! Not to mention the trucks and buses enriching our air with their fumes.
intermodal.systemshas developed the Dynamic Trains Systems (DTS)technology that combines the advantages of individual dynamic road transportation with the co2 free, electric powered , guided autonomous rail transportation. By letting a vehicle change tracks just like lanes on the road.
Allowing cars, trucks, buses to drive on both road and existing rail! Individually like on the road! Get the bestof both worlds! And using the empty space between current trains. Legacy operators like the S-Bahn could continue to operate as normal.
Over and above driverless individual transport the DTS technology also allows for
• Highly efficient dynamic trains (8x less energy required)
• Power from rails (no range limitation)
• Charging while driving (small batteries and no charge time parked)
• Country wide vehicle sharing
• Stationless interchanging (Point 2 Point travel)
• Point2Point electric container transport with no reloading
• using existing railway tracks!
What is our vision for Berlin 2030?
A city that utilizes its existing road and rail infrastructure fully to enable CO2 free electric passenger and cargo transport using :
• A high speed computer controlled urban rail network (current s-bahn network)
• certain main roads having one lane of tramway charging rails (for example - Bundesallee, Frankfurterallee, Kaiserdamm, Prenzlauerallee, etc)
• Electric intermodal carsharing vehicles
• Electric intermodal buses
• Electric intermodal container trailers
The Berlin S-Bahn Ring has a circumference of 40 kms, with arterial routes out to Strausberg, Potsdam and others up to 30 kms. This would provide the ideal urban high speed (100 km/h) computer controlled infrastructure for intermodal vehicles. This is equivalent to a 12 lane highway!
No more traffic jams through town!! From Westend to Schönefeld in 20 minutes!
Railway tracks - available
Electricity supply via rails or side rails - available
Autobahn rules (No crossings, no stopping, only one direction travel, minimum / maximum speed ) - Regulations need to be defined and certain tracks certified for DTS mode.
RoRo (Roll-On Roll-Off) sites - need to be built
Bypass tracks for stations - required or designated stations need to be closed
Parallel Tracks for Public Buses to join together (Dynamic Station tracks) - required
Information System that interacts with current railway operator and with all participants to provide real time dynamic location information of all vehicles on the track
Management system with Smartphone Apps that will coordinate the four key players -
1. passenger who requests the journey via a smart phone app (and can modify the destination at any time)
2. freelance drivers who offer their services via a smart phone app
3. vehicle sharing company that provides the vehicle
4. rail line operator that controls normal trains.
Legacy systems like the S-Bahn can continue to operate as normal, intermodal traffic would use the empty time between "normal" trains.
Here are some examples:
Individual transport- a local taxi driver takes a carsharing vehicle of the desired quality (cheap, normal, luxury) collects you (possibly together colleges or family) in the suburbs (for example Marienfelde), and brings you to the nearest rail drive on. Now the computer takes over and brings you to Berlin-Mitte rail drive-off. There a driver takes over and brings you to your end destination.
Or you could drive the vehicle yourself to and from the rail drive-on.
Mass transportation- Point2Point - an electric bus picks you up close to your home. It then drives on the rail where it combines with other buses. You interchange to your destination bus (maybe twice) and are dropped off at your end-destination on the road again. No need to wait at stations or lose time interchanging.
Container transport- Containers on electric self-powered trailers are loaded at source. A normal car with tow hitch brings them to the nearest rail-drive on. There the computer takes over and guides the container trailer to the destination rail site. There another vehicle with two hitch takes over and brings the container trailer to its end destination.
Additionally existing main roads can be converted to electric arteries by adding tramway rails into the road. Energy transfer can be made safe by either only activating an approx. 10m section below the vehicle, or by using the contact less transfer technology as proposed by Prof. Takashi Ohira.
Mit derzeitiger Schienentechnologie (schienenbasierte Weichentechnologie) und Haltestellen (Bahnhöfe) auf den Schienenstrecken können maximal 30 Züge (bis zu 300 Fahrzeuge) pro Stunde eine Schiene benutzen. Durch Weichentechnologie in den Fahrzeugen ist der individual Verkehr wie auf einer Autobahn möglich. Unter Einsatz einer dynamischer Zugbildung können bis zu 10 000 Fahrzeuge pro Stunde eine Schiene benutzen.
Elektrische Intermodale Fahrzeuge (Autos, Busse, Containeranhänger) mit kleinen Batterien (für bis zu 50km) können Passagiere und Fracht per Straße abholen (auch in Zukunft autonom fahrend) und dann das Schienennetz über Auffahrstellen (RoRo) benutzen um computergesteuert direkt zur Zielgegend zu fahren. Hierbei wird der Strom zur Fortbewegung und zum Laden der Batterie vom Schienennetz benutzt.
In der Zielgegend wird das Fahrzeug weiter per Straße zum Endziel gefahren, um eine Point2Point Verbindung zu ermöglichen.
Busse können auf den Schienen dynamisch zusammenschließen, um Passagieren den Umstieg während der Fahrt zu ermöglichen. Ein Umsteigen an Bahnhöfen wird somit überflüssig.
Durch die Stromzufuhr über die Schienen ist eine CO2 freie Mobilität für alle Bereiche (Individual-, Massen- und Frachtverkehr) möglich. Durch dynamische Zugbildung mit Abständen von 1/2 m zwischen Fahrzeugen wird der Energieverbrauch erheblich gesenkt während die Kapazität pro Scheine erheblich gesteigert wird.
Ein Informationssystem informiert dynamisch alle Schienenbenutzer die Position aller anderen Schienenbenutzer. So kann jeder Betreiber (Zugbetreiber, Logistik Unternehmen, Fahrer) seine Route planen und sicher durchführen. Eine zentrale Steuerung der Schienenbenutzer erfolgt NICHT. Hierbei gibt es eine klare Prioretisierung der verschiedenen Teilnehmer. Zuge, die auf extern verwaltete Weichen angewiesen sind, haben Priorität. Sie dürfen jedoch nicht auf der Hauptverkehrstrecke anhalten.
Die dynamische Zugbildung erfolgt vollkommen autark zwischen den Steuerungsmodul in den Fahrzeugen und wird durch eine direkte Verbindung zwischen den Fahrzeugen dynamisch koordiniert.
DTS - the technology and facts
DTS enables an intermodal vehicle to drive on existing railways (or roads with tramway rails) and be able to change direction at any switch (points) without the switch being moved - this is called intermodal onboard switching.
It removes the necessity of ensuring that the switch is in the correct position before every train / vehicle - resulting in long safety gaps between trains (typically more than 2 minutes) In short - it allows a vehicle to independently turn off on rails like it does on the road.
While on the road a car / truck / bus is controlled by a licensed driver, but when guided by a railway track or on a road with tramway tracks it is safely controlled by a computer.
The passengers or central system can at any time instruct the computer to change direction at the next possibility, thus preserving full flexibility.
• Electric cars have no range and take too long to charge - With DTS technology they can be charged while driving on rails and have no range limitation.
• Electric vehicles no longer need batteries for a 500 km range, a battery of 1/10th of the size is completely sufficient. This substantially reduces the need for scarce resources like lithium.
• If all cars in the world were electric and battery powered hypothetically one would need 1 billion tons of lithium! using current technology (0,7t x 1,3 billion cars).
• Intermodal vehicles only need 1/10 the battery and with car sharing one only needs 1/4 of the fleet. This means one would only need 25 million tons of lithium.
• One railway line has the capacity of a six lane highway!
• In bottleneck situations across a natural divide (Auckland or Sydney both have a North / South Shore problem) onboard switching can enable a much higher capacity across existing infrastructure.
• Emission free buses, cars and container carriers can use existing tracks with up to 10 times the capacity.
• The average car is used 1 hour a day (out of 24) so a typical car utilization is currently about 4%.
• Using rails and computer control intermodal fleet operators can meet peak demands country wide and convert our cities from being huge parking lots with air that is filled with "healthy" fossil fuel exhaust gases. In Berlin 3% of the total city area including lakes, forest, streets and houses is used by parked cars.
• The Vienna UN convention only allows autonomous vehicles on roads where a licensed driver can take over control at any time. Thus autonomous driving using only computer controlled cars is not really possible for a foreseeable future.
• On dedicated rails and tracks computer controlled autonomous driving is already being practiced. Without the need for a licensed driver to be on board. Examples are the Heathrow PRT or the West Virginia University PRT since 1975.
• The biggest hurdle to an user friendly and efficient mass transportation system is the current necessity to repeatedly interchange at stations.
• Using the DTS technology it is possible to travel point to point without interchanging at stations, Simply interchange from wagon to wagon while travelling.
• Using intermodal buses one does not even need stations. Simply board a bus at any bus station, This then joins other buses on the rail and allows passengers to interchange
• The biggest capacity bottleneck in public transportation is not the railway line itself, it's the stations and getting passengers into the vehicles. And with de-central bus stops this bottleneck is effectively removed.
• No more crowded railway stations!
• Rail operators are not able to transport containers directly from source to destination without changing vehicles, Only a road based truck can do that currently. And changing a 20t container is not really easy, it lacks legs.
• This is why the German Environmental Agency predicted in a Transport Research Study in 2014 that the bulk of the growth in cargo transport will end up on the road - fossil fuel based - a horrific though. Look at the curve from 2014 to 2029!
• Using onboard switching a battery powered trailer can move a individual container from source to destination - fast and independently.
• All that is required is a normal car with tow-hitch that steers the self-powered trailer to a railway siding, where the computer system then takes over. And continues its journey hopefully emission free from regenerative sources.
Capacity and consumption figures based on a single lane