The quiet hybrid trucks and buses available on the market represent only the first step in developing vehicles perfectly adapted to urban environments. The next step could include vehicles suited for delivering goods during the night and transporting people during the rush hour.
The FreightBus is also a future concept in the area of urban transport. Instead of direct transport using big long-haul rigs delivering to city centers, the FreightBus carries both passengers and goods, thereby utilizing existing infrastructure of the public transport system.
The vehicle uses purpose-designed load modules that can be transferred to smaller delivery vehicles designed specifically for urban conditions.
How does the FreightBus concept work? At present, four vans leave a hub and deliver their goods to four separate, central destinations. In the CITYLOG system, the containers carried by a FreightBus arriving at a city centre location are transshipped to two delivery vans that distribute the goods to their final destinations.
Connecting vehicles, goods and driver
Today’s use of sensors and wireless communication in vehicles lays the foundation for tomorrow’s transport efficiency.
With vehicles communicating with each other and with the surrounding environment, logistics will step into a new paradigm:
- congestion will be reduced since traffic can be efficiently guided
- fuel efficiency will be improved by real-time driver assistance
- safety is enhanced as sensors keep an even better watch on drivers, vehicles and traffic
- uptime is maximized using wireless diagnostics
- precise calculation of a good’s ecological footprint becomes possible
Return of the airship
Don’t be surprised if you start seeing more airships in the sky a few years from now. The climate debate has already led to the world to re-discovering this old technology, as the airship is far more environmentally sound that traditional aircraft. It consumes little fuel, is virtually noiseless and does not require large airports.
Airships are already in use for surveillance purposes and monitoring services in many parts of the world. They have a great potential in transporting goods and people in isolated areas.