Assuming these trains have traffic light priority, I see them as making congested streets worse both in terms of increased gridlock potential and reduced merge potential.
One of the primary reasons for rail is efficiency. All those tires underneath do away with that. If the idea is to clear cars off the road, give car-less folks a ride or operate without laying track, there's a thing called a bus. But maybe this could work in certain applications we haven't thought of. We don't know anything about the conditions there.
Imran Sheikh
The good thing about this project is (virtually)Low ground clearance so no biker or pedestrian in gonna get sucked-in in case of sideways collision..
James Brett
So it's a glorified bus?
The only innovation seems to be the fact that the rear units are sterred in ordre to run in the same track as the front unit. This is not the case with a conventional articulated train. If a line following visual system is used, it is not an innovation. And the previous system were mainly used on buses to have precize stopping at stations. But they were found prone to failure when the marking are degraded or the environemental conditions bad.
Interesting starter-for-ten. Wonder what will evolve from this- if anything? FrankHuang- you mean just as light rail does??
Ron Barak
How is that "the world's first railless train" different from the, which already is operational for several years (besides being electric)?
This appears to be the same as the ''bendy busses'' as already used in many cities, but with an extra cabin attached. It doesn't state in the article, but I would assume that this would have a dedicated asphalt track, rather than being used on existing roads. Which in turn, poses the question, is laying an asphalt road cheaper than laying tracks with no asphalt? In addition, how would the life of rubber tyres compare to the life of steel wheels? The running costs of tyre replacement could be enormous, given to loads envisaged. It would seem that a couple of London double-decker busses would have a similar capacity, and greater manoeuvrability without all the expense of a dedicated road system, and they could be electric, to reduce pollution within the city. This in turn suggests that an electric trolley-bus system would be as good.
Bruce H. Anderson
By strategically placing sensors into the asphalt it is possible that this system would not require a physical dedicated path. AGV systems using FROG have been around for a while, and this could be similar. The lines in the road are probably more a visual indicator. It does look like a glorified bus, and I would think that shorter vehicles with greater frequency would work better in an urban environment. Not much in the way of range, but perhaps there are charging stations planned along the route.
Rails are dead - now superfluous. This is the future. It would be better perhaps as separate units (like Metronit) as the vehicle structures would not have to take the strain of 'pulling' additional units behind a tractor unit. Current technology would permit individually powered units which would allow greater flexibility in use. Roadways (i.e.dedicated tracks without rails) are much less expensive to build than railways and unlike railways, can allow 'pull offs' where units can be passed while loading unloading passengers, making for faster journey times.