Based on the knowledge gained through the years with the transportation of goods (applications realized by Frog AGV Systems), 2getthere was able to develop a Freight Rapid Transit concept as required for the Masdar City system.
The basis of the application is that the FRT vehicles would have the same driving characteristics as the PRT vehicles operational on the network. As the FRT vehicles need to able to carry a larger load, they actually require a larger motor and brakes to ensure the same acceleration and deceleration is achieved. When this is achieved the flow on the network is not effected by the type of vehicle that is operating.
Alternatively, a FRT vehicle based on the ParkShuttle would be able to serve an even larger load, transporting it over an automated network.
2getthere designed a flatbed vehicle with a flexible load handling mechanism. The flatbed ensures the vehicle can carry any type of cargo by means of a container, without the requirement for a specific vehicle type. The containers can be designed for general cargo, waste or perishables in refrigerated containers. The flatbed vehicles can carry containers with a load of 2 EURO-pallets with a combined weight of 1.600 kilo.
The preferred load handling mechanism is derived from the platforms used for loading air-planes. The roller balls allow for pallets to be moved in any direction. Automated handling is preferred as it will decrease the ‘down-time’ of vehicles; as the vehicle arrives, the load is handled immediately, making the vehicles available once more for the next job. This ensures that the fleet size is minimized.
The great flexibility of 2getthere’s technology ensures different modes of transportation can be used on the same network. The result is that PRT (taxi), GRT (mini bus) and FRT (freight) could operate together. The most important aspect of combining different modes on the network is ensuring that their characteristics are similar. With similar driving characteristics (top speed, acceleration and deceleration) the complexity in controlling the network is greatly reduced.
In such a network the most crucial aspect is the design of stations and the associated wayfinding, ensuring the system remains intuitive to use for passengers. The network infrastructure should be designed so that the widest vehicles are accommodated where required; please note that this might not be practical everywhere and that certain routes might be restricted to one specific system only.