February 25, 2024

The Mobilicity System is a driverless, automated GRT (Group Rapid Transit) system. It can be used as a taxi or advanced bus substitute. This approach has significant environmental benefits. It allows its users to tackle the major issues associated with urban transportation: congestion, air pollution, noise, and fossil fuel usage.

The Driverless Mobility

The electric bus system is more flexible and cheaper than conventional buses. Electric vehicles can operate on any road surface and do not require particular infrastructure. This is a significant competitive advantage.

The Mobilicity method can reduce the 30% of available land typically allocated to parking and roads for private cars in new urban developments to just 8%. This represents a significant amount of space released for other purposes. It can also be beneficial in sensitive areas, such as the historic center of a city, where it improves the environment without having any structural impacts.

Mobilicity does not have any direct competitors. The Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) sector is its closest competitor. The Ultra PRT, for example, uses a vehicle the size of a car, requiring extensive infrastructure. It has significant operational and capacity limitations when compared with Mobilicity.

The innovative GRT concept is very versatile and can be applied to various applications, from small-scale private estates to entire city centers. According to an independent study conducted for the company, the global market value for these systems is expected to reach $8 billion by 2026.

Automated Battery PRT Cars Replace Buses at Heathrow Airport, Courtesy of www.cleantechnica.com

2002 Capoco Design Limited celebrated its 25th anniversary of incorporation in 1977. This was the first time that Mobilicity saw any development. Capoco’s approach is always to look ahead, so it decided not to focus on repeating past activities but instead to investigate the urgent requirements for city mobility in the future.

With its background in public transport, it was only natural that Copoco commissioned a study on the future needs of urban transport up until 2027. It was essential to consider all significant trends affecting the entire transport industry. The population increase and rural-to-urban migration were included in this study. The study of mega-cities was logical, as they will grow in number when we go from 50% of a 6 billion global population to 65% of a 9 billion global population.

In many countries, this demographic trend is accompanied by a changing population profile, which hurts national finances, personal wealth, social exclusion, and mobility requirements. These effects will be parallel to other well-known trends, such as the reduction of oil supplies, pressure from environmental factors on air quality in local and global areas, and increasing societal losses due to traffic congestion.

Capoco worked with the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre at the Royal College of Art in London, headed by Jeremy Myerson. The famous Vehicle Design department at the RCA was also part of the team led by Professor Dale Harrow.

The project team began by reviewing the current state of affairs, the global trends that have already been established, and the various transport options. The project team invited experts from multiple sectors, including city and transportation planning, built environment, and social mechanisms, to participate in ideas workshops. They discussed and developed different approaches to future challenges. Real-city journeys were analyzed in London, Istanbul, and Hong Kong to aid this investigation by tracking individuals through different commuter scenarios.

After studying the requirements, an idealized system was suggested to use automated vehicles of variable sizes, which could run over various routes. Extrapolation or back-casting was then used to determine how the ideal plan might be implemented.

We must confirm that Mobilicity was never conceived as a solution for all city transport problems. The characteristics were designed to complement other systems based on existing vehicles such as road, rail, and boat.

The study had to be based on strict commercial and technical realism. The study had to provide practical solutions within the time frame being considered. We did not pursue solutions that would have been too expensive or require a total city redesign. This requirement of practicality was primarily related to road and fuel infrastructures.

The Mobilicity design accommodates…

Mobilicity is a system that uses automated vehicles for sustainable mobility in large metropolitan areas. It has been designed, as mentioned above, to tackle the three main challenges of traffic, air pollution, and energy consumption. The vehicle is 5 meters long and can accommodate up to 12 passengers, including one wheelchair. The car can carry up to 12 standing passengers. This gives 24 people the same length as a premium segment car.

Interior of Mobilicity

The modules can be operated in platoons of up to six units, giving a capacity of 144 people. When used this way, the passenger capacity can rival rail-based systems with a fraction of roll-out costs and infrastructure.

Multi-energy Conversion Options

The drive uses a LiIon battery system for energy storage. Three energy conversion options will make this platform future-proof in the next few decades. The first version uses a biofuel ICE. The second stage uses hydrogen ICE. And the final drive configuration is a low-power hydrogen fuel cell. The vehicle was designed for the low speeds of urban environments, combining low power ratings with low noise and increased safety.

Initially, the service will be offered in enclosed communities like airports or exhibitions. Later, it will be available in exclusive lanes similar to BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). The system will be fully operational once the technology has matured. The system will be flexible regarding timetables and routes, allowing for the best of both public transport systems.

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