Switzerland is moving forward with underground autonomous cargo delivery

Η Ελβετία προχωρά στην υλοποίηση του Cargo Sous Terrain, ενός συστήματος υπόγειων σηράγγων με αυτόνομα μηχανήματα παράδοσης εμπορευμάτων από πόλη σε πόλη.

cargo sous terrain switzerland

The Cargo Sous Terrain Idea was launched in 2016, and was then priced at US$3,4 billion. It envisioned underground tunnels filled with automated delivery carts that would travel at 30 kilometers per hour and transport goods between cities and logistics centers across Switzerland.

The Cargo Sous Terrain it will provide long-term freight transport, without relying on the expansion of road and rail networks, which are already full, both with freight and passengers, and do not have much room for growth.

Όπως τόσες πολλές ιδέες αυτού του είδους, πριν από έξι χρόνια φαινόταν ότι ήταν πολύ απίθανο να συμβεί ποτέ. Ωστόσο, τον περασμένο Δεκέμβριο, το ελβετικό κοινοβούλιο ενέκρινε το απαραίτητο νομικό πλαίσιο για να καταστεί δυνατή η υπόγεια μεταφορά εμπορευμάτων, πράγμα που σημαίνει ότι το έργο CST μπορεί να ξεκινήσει την κατασκευή της πρώτης σήραγγας την 1η Αυγούστου.

Τα μηχανήματα μεταφοράς φορτίου θα ακολουθούν παρόμοια αρχή με αυτή ενός αυτόματου συστήματος μεταφοράς. Αυτοματοποιημένα οχήματα, χωρίς οδηγό, θα είναι σε θέση να παραλαμβάνουν και να αποθέτουν φορτία αυτόματα από τις καθορισμένες ράμπες και ανελκυστήρες και θα μπορούν να ταξιδεύουν όλο το εικοσιτετράωρο στις σήραγγες.

The vehicles, which are driven by wheels and will have electric drive through induction rails. Goods will be transported on pallets or in modified containers. Thanks to transport vehicles that will be compatible with refrigeration, it is also possible to transport fresh and preserved products simply chilled.

The tunnels will have three tracks, i.e. three traffic lanes. Attached to the roof of the tunnel is a faster overhead track for smaller packages of goods.

The continuous flow of small-sized goods will eliminate the need for waiting times at transfer stations. In addition, the storage space requirement can be massively reduced because temporary storage of goods is no longer necessary.

Freight transport has different requirements than passenger transport. Freight tunnels may be smaller, operate at lower speeds than passengers would require, and since the entire system is autonomous, comfort (and to some extent safety) may not be a primary objective.

The cost (to be borne entirely by the private sector) has risen from an initial 2016 estimate of $3,5 billion and is now estimated to cost between $30 and $35 billion for the full 500km network.

The Swiss seem mostly unfazed by the scale of the project and still see it as a good long-term investment. The entire project will run on renewable energy, and CST expects the amount of heavy trucks on the road to be reduced by up to 40 percent as its underground vehicles take over the transport.

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Written by Dimitris

Dimitris hates on Mondays .....

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