CarTube will improve both existing and emerging cities.
In established cities with dense historic cores and extensive ownership issues, the only possibility to radically improve transportation is to put it underground. Crucially, it allows us to reclaim urban land back from the car: London’s Embankment, currently a gridlocked thoroughfare could become a tranquil park along the river.
In emerging economies the scale of the urban transportation challenge is immense. It is unlikely that conventional mass transport systems can be afforded or built at a rate commensurate with the rapid urbanisation of probable another 40% of the world’s population.
Beijing CarTube network optimised to link with existing infrastructure.
Source: World Urbanisation Prospects, 2011 Revision (UN 2012)
London Cartube connects directly to existing Motorway network.
London already possess integrated transportation in the form of cars and buses. The real issue is congestion. In many cities motorways terminate at the edge of urban cores leading to daily congestion.
The notion is that the CarTube network will hugely enhance the traffic flow and deliver it to where it is wanted – at the travel destination.
There will be two types of stations, the ramp connection to the normal road network and the lift to road and or building, including directly into major buildings. Car stacks allow storage and retrieval on demand close to destinations.
The speed of the network will be hugely better than competing overground roads. In the London case study the travel times will be roughly one quarter of what is achieved on conventional roads.
A key aspect of the CarTube is integration with existing Motorway infrastructure. Motorways will increasingly be automated and the entrance to the Cartube is a natural extension of the car system into the heart of London.
Typical journey from Heathrow (M4 beginning of elevated section) to City of London 14 minutes.
There is an enormous saving by shifting the investment cost of the vehicles from the mass transport operator to the private sector. This private investment is of course very flexible and will range from luxury cars to pick-up vans with or without passengers.
The basic reason for choosing a relatively small tunnel section, is that tunnelling costs increase dramatically as the radius of the tunnel increases. It is estimated that the cost increases exponentially with the radius.
The cost of stations is also radically different from the
normal mass transport stations. The ‘on-grade’ stations are very simple – just entry and exit tunnel openings, which allow transfer to the local street network, incorporating a simple bus-stop type drop-off
where cars could be abandoned to be sent to car stacks.
These would also serve as pick-up points for retrieved vehicles. Of course the pick-up points could be different from the drop-off points allowing for an easy stroll in the city.
The investment risk is minimised by cutting the costs for underground systems dramatically. Depending on the economic environment systems, the first system could be created and owned municipally or by private owners and operators.
The system lends itself exceptionally well to dynamic pricing which as well as maximising profits work in conjunction with the control technology to maximise the capacity of the system.
The opportunity is a global business – once developed, this technology will be used everywhere in the world.