How It Works



The first level of control technology is ‘virtual trains’ where vehicles are digitally locked into ‘trains’ with minimal separation. This technology already exists and is being tested by all major car manufacturers.



The second level of control is the destination selector. Any vehicle entering the system has to have a destination and the second level computes the fastest track. It is likely this technology will develop from current SatNav systems.



The third level mediates between all the different second-level destinations to compute the most efficient use of the primary network and the car stack availability for a particular destination and retrieval set. It could use dynamic pricing and real-time bidding. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a powerful tool in this space.



The capacity of the system is determined both by the capacity of the primary network, the destination mix and the stations capacities.


If a speed of 80 km/hr (50 mph) on the primary network is assumed with a 2m car separation then the capacity of the system if fully loaded will be twice as much as the fully loaded capacity of London’s CrossRail with 12 trains of 1500 people per hour.


The CarTube stations are very simple. There are many stations to respond to the primary network capacity. Assuming that 10,000 vehicles per hour per tube then on a typical 25 km stretch 25 stations will accommodate 400 cars per hour or 7 cars per minute. A proportion of those will drop passengers and proceed to car stacks, the rest will enter the normal street network or directly onto train station platforms or directly into large buildings.


The CarTube booking will be similar to how you book an Uber car or Taxi online today. You can also book ahead to make sure you have a slot for getting to your destination when you want to – the typical commuting deal. When on the road, the system will update you with any issues, including the possibility of somebody else wishing to pay for your slot – sometimes you might accept a fee against a slight delay to your own travel. Critically, the system will never allow any overbooking so the system will never have any congestion.


When you arrive at your destination, your car (if you use your own) will be taken away to be parked until you require it back. If you use some kind of shared vehicle, (Uber, Taxi or minibus) it will simply be taken away and stored by the system to be retrieved when needed. When you want to return, either your own car will arrive exactly when you want it, or any of the travel sharing options.


The idea is that parking and vehicle storage are completely automated and they respond directly to your needs – no need to wait, the system will ensure you can travel exactly when you want, to wherever you want.

CarTube mobile app combines on-demand car booking with route optimisation and dynamic pricing.


The network layout is a loose grid which is connected at every joint. This layout ensures that there are multiple ways through the system to and from any particular pair of destinations.


Crucially, the primary network is designed such that traffic flow never slows down – it constantly runs at a steady speed. All stations are on spurs and are bypassed by the primary grid.


This is in stark contrast to the main limiting factor of most modern mass transport systems where the train stops at every station thus limiting its capacity.

Tunnelling equipment will be wholly automated with no need for local operators. Novel robotic techniques are being developed so that tunnelling can proceed continuously with a backload system for removal of spoil and supply of construction materials.


3D printing will be developed to allow shallow curvature tunnels as well as tunnel junctions.


The world market for robotic tunnelling and the advent of cartube technology will provide a tremendous incentive for innovation in this field.




Fully robotic tunnelling with 3d printing of track and tunnel. Robotic vehicles deliver material and remove spoil and can pass over and under themselves, as well as being able to co-exist in tunnels actively used during the day.


It is vital that the system also integrates the ability to store vehicles whether individually owned or part of some form of mass transport.


Since the vehicles are automated, they will have the ability to transfer to car stacks without drivers. Equally, the vehicles can be recalled for use via mobile apps.


The car stacks are designed so that the system can stack them in rough order of anticipated recall. The car stacks are built with the same tunnelling technology that is used for the primary network.


The size and location of stacks will depend on the analysis and expectation of balance between shared vehicles (Taxis, Uber, mini buses) and privately

owned vehicles.

Car stacks allow vehicles to be stored and sorted such that vehicles emerge from the system in the desired order, while the arrivals are of course random. The same tunnelling technology will be used as for running tunnels.






Car stack sorting principal

Short Term

Long Term

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