Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Towards implementation of automated people mover systems

Transportation is one of the most fundamental elements underlying our economy. Congestion is one of the main problems facing our modern society. Solving the transportation problem thus becomes top priority for governments, municipalities, companies and individuals. A (part of the) solution is the Automated People Mover Systems.

Automated People Mover Systems mostly focus on the old concept of mass transportation, while the most successful means of transportation (the car) is designed for the individual. For alternative (public) transportation to be really successful, it has to compare and compete with the personal car. For this reason systems for group and personal transportation are being developed. Development, however, is only the first step towards the eventual goal: implementation.

The reason for 2getthere/Frog to participate in CyberMove was the opportunity to stimulate the realization and implementation of Automated People Mover applications. The product range of 2getthere consists of the ParkShuttle and the CyberCab.

The ParkShuttle vehicle can be compared to a minibus. It operates on pre-defined routes in the network, stopping only at those stations where people request to be picked up. The vehicle seats twelve passengers with eight additional standing passengers. Seating is comfortable with personal space exceeding normal public transport standards. The maximum speed of the ParkShuttle is 32km/h, or 20mph. The vehicles have a lowered floor, accommodating easy access for passengers as well as wheelchairs.

The CyberCab can be compared to a taxi. It is fully flexible, capable of stopping anywhere, picking up passengers and transporting them to any destination - via the shortest route - on the routing network. The CyberCab seats four (4) passengers. The height of the vehicle does not allow passengers to be transported standing up. By installing folding chairs in the vehicle, the CyberCab is fully accessible to wheelchairs. The maximum speed of the CyberCab is 30km/h.

The SuperFROG control system, fully customised for People Mover requirements, handles traffic control and transportation request dispatching by communicating commands to vehicles and receiving status information from the vehicles via a Radio Frequency (RF) wireless link. The SuperFROG system is equipped with standardised interfaces to traffic lights, traffic beams etc.

The ParkShuttle and the CyberCab use a dedicated track to avoid congestion and ensure safety. In most modern day cities it is a clear policy to prioritise public transportation and keep it separate from other traffic.

The separate track can be a "bus lane", but would have to be physically segregated from the rest of the street to prevent access to the infrastructure. Mixing with pedestrians or bikers is possible if limited to short stretches of track. Since the vehicles are equipped with an obstacle detection system that will detect traffic and consequently slow down or even stop to avoid possible collisions, the vehicles will be equally fast to the slowest pedestrian or biker.

Possible applications, whether they concern simple connections or complicated networks, range from city centres to residential areas, airports, business and industrial parks, theme parks and resorts. The demonstration sites within CyberMove are ideally suited to show the public the added value of these types of transportation systems - whether it concerns temporary or permanent implementations.

The first demonstration was during the "Salon International des Véhicules Électriques en Hybrides de Monte-Carlo 2003" in April. The construction process of the prototype of the second generation ParkShuttle - intended for operation at the Rivium site in the City of Capelle a/d IJssel was sped up by more than two months to be ready for this exhibition. Finished just a week before the exhibition, the software that had been tested on the prototype was installed. After several days of testing the vehicle was transported to Monaco where it was installed in just 2.5 days. During the four days of the exhibition, the ParkShuttle was available to all visitors both professionals and the general public and operated flawlessly.

2getthere is looking forward to the cooperation within the CyberMove consortium for the realization of more CTS (Cybernetic Transport Systems).

Related information

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Frog Navigation Systems
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