Executive Summary

The transportation concept AUTOSHUTTLE proposed for high traffic density corridors unifies:

  • high level of safety
  • shortest door to door travelling times
  • best environmental friendliness
  • individuality like on an ordinary motorway
  • cheaper travelling costs than road vehicle travel
  • financiability is granted without subventions
  • profitable operation
  • realisation is based on existing transportation technologies.

Cars, busses and lorries each singly enter an individual transparent transport cabin. The cabin automatically accelerates to the constant travelling speed of 180 km/h. Having reached this speed convoys with little air resistance are formed in order to achieve a very low energy consumption. 

Autoshuttle convoy of individual transport cabins

There is not timetable but almost continuous service. The user indicates his individual destination. A change of the destination is possible at any time during the trip. Travelling cost is lower than if the user had driven to his destination on an ordinary road. The fare is charged to a credit card during the trip. Entrance and exit points are as frequent as on an ordinary motorway. The convoy passes intermediate exits before the final destination is reached without loss of time. 

At the final exit the cabin switches out of the convoy and is breaked automatically. The road vehicles leave the cabin in forward direction and continue to the individual destination without any additional stop. From an AUTOSHUTTLE trip length of 12 km onwards AUTOSHUTTLE is the fastest door-to-door means of mass transportation.

Technical feasibility is demonstrated based on the conception presented in the main part of this document. A magnetic levitation configuration which is very well suited for AUTOSHUTTLE has been realized as a prototype at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany (see photo).The configuration excells by low wear and tear and low energy consumption. 

Maglev demonstrator in real scale (3-ton vehicle)

Transportation of a passenger car by AUTOSHUTTLE is related to the equivalent fuel consumption of 2,3 l Diesel carburant per 100 km only. The figure for a 40 t lorry is 13 l Diesel per 100 km. Emissions and raw material consumption are very low. There is almost no noise emission. Comfort is better than when driving in the road vehicle on a ordinary motorway. Specific space consumption is considerably lower and traffic capacity is much higher than for an ordinary motorway. The line could be built at the centre of an existing motorway. Between two and four lanes of the motorway would then be converted to AUTOSHUTTLE. The remaining lanes would however be sufficient for the remaining conventional traffic. In this way Autoshuttle can be built with almost no new space requirements. 

As compared to telematic controlled road vehicles travelling on ordinary roads AUTOSHUTTLE excells by enhanced safety, environmental friendliness, speed and financiability. A finance study for the corridor Duisburg-Köln in Germany demonstrates an exceptionally high profit for a private builder and operator company of AUTOSHUTTLE. There is no need for subventions. Profits are achievable with short AUTOSHUTTLE lines already.

The system analysis presented on the following pages has been performed privately by the authors Dr. Andreas Steingröver and Dr. Rasmus Krevet, Braunschweig, Germany. The authors aim to install a research and development project for AUTOSHUTTLE at industry, universities and research institutes. The next worksteps are further system analysis and simulation. Based on the concept of the existing vehicle prototype an experimental layout can be realised within short time. Due to the excellent level of transportation technology including magnetic levitation systems the total time until application of the system can be in the order of six years.