Superbus: A Novel Concept for Safe, Fast and Sustainable Mobility 2009-01-0597
Sustainable mobility in all its aspects is the philosophy of the Superbus (Fig 1), which is a new concept for public transport that consists of a new vehicle, new infrastructure and new logistics. The Superbusproject is a project started by the chair AeroSpace for Sustainable Engineering and Technology (ASSET) of the Delft University of Technology (Tu Delft) in the Netherlands. The project is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Transport and Water Management and other sponsors with the aim to prove the feasibility of the concept.
Sustainable mobility does not only relate to the environmental impact (global warming, CO2 and NOx emissions, etc), but also to the use of infrastructure and the impact of infrastructure on the environment, the safety of passengers and pedestrians, and the effective utilization of he system through its logistics.
With the aim to account for all such aspects, the Superbus is non-polluting as it uses four electric motors power by a battery pack; it is lightweight and uses very low power per passenger; uses a number of recyclable materials. Also, its dedicated infrastructure, called supertrack, is cheap, lightweight and relatively easy to be relocated. Next to that, the safety of passengers (internal safety) and the safety of all other traffic including pedestrians (external safety) has played an important role in the development of this new concept, which is massively instrumented for obstacle detection, navigation, control, monitoring and it is provided by a number of passive and active systems for passengers protection. Finally, due to the ever growing transport demand and the increasing request for flexible driven logistics, an advanced information and communication technology has been defined. This latter aspect not also ensures efficiency of the transportation but also eliminates the utilization of a running timetable. In this way there will not be vehicles traveling with few or no passengers.
In this paper the evaluation of the various sustainable mobility aspects and consequent impact on the definition of the Superbus transportation system will be described. Then, the resulting design will be discussed.