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Pitch

This idea suggests to remove all existing household infrastructures with a completely new fully automated transport based delivery system


Description

Introduction 

This vignette, of the ideas developed in an EPSRC-funded All-in-One Project [website: http://allinone.uk.net/], has been inspired from the advancements on mechatronics and robotics technologies and based on the replacement of all the household infrastructures with a smart transport system. Simply, it suggest to remove all existing infrastructures (water, gas, sewage pipelines) with a completely new fully automated transport based delivery system which is a combination of the City Utility Product Distribution and Transportation Railway (SUR2111) operated in city scale, and Smart Containers/Transports (SCTs) operated in local scales. This vignette also suggests a new business model to run and maintain the suggested SCTs namely “SUR2111 UPS Stock Market”. Details are discussed in the following subsections.

City Utility Product Distribution and Transportation Railway

 The idea of SUR2111 was illustrated in Figure 1. In this futuristic idea, all the subdomains of a city (residential areas, and multi-storey buildings, sites, etc.) will be connected by SUR2111 railway systems. These railways may be located underground or in a secure tubing system. They will continuously move in a constant speed in all possible directions among the subdomains between transfer stations and they carry STCs for the local areas or subdomains. It is a mixture of decentralized and centralized distribution and collection solutions. Some of the products may be distributed or collected from the centralized locations (e.g. city waste water treatment center) while the others may be distributed by decentralized manner (e.g. personal order from market places, or drinking water supply boxes/bottles). There will be several “transfer stations” which enables to transfer of the goods between domains and providers. This system functions as not only a distribution railway, but also a collection system of STCs which carry any goods, waste materials and empty containers from the subdomains (from costumers and producers), then deliver them to transfer stations.

Today we have similar collection/distribution systems are often provided by local government authorities, or by private companies in the industry (domestic waste collection, postal services, bottled water Delivery, Gas / LPG Delivery System, internet and communication networks, etc.). Most of these current delivery and transport systems are utilizing carriers (e.g. tracks operated by human) and they use existing infrastructures (e.g. roads). Mostly they are being used by demand and offers. For example, a customer orders one unit of product, then it is delivered after an estimated time delay to her house by means of transportation. The suggested SUR2111 system will be a fully automatic and controlled by a future smart and intelligent system which delivers and collects all the utility products continuously between the transfer stations and subdomains, while it would also be possible to collect and deliver any personal orders or products after a certain time delay (order-response time).

An important question to run this system was directed during the expert evaluations provided in the imagination workshop as “how much more expensive to transport, e.g. water instead of piping it?”. This vignette suggests that SUR2111, is basically a railway, will be able to use advanced solar energy technologies which will dramatically reduce the need of external energy provision. Furthermore it should be noted that the amount of vehicles and their energy consumptions used in the today’s transportation activities will be decreased dramatically by the initialization of SUR2111. And then the energy consumption of the transportation vehicles, pumping, distribution, and collection systems (e.g. pipelines) will be shifted to run the future City Utility Product Distribution and Transportation Railway. It is more feasible and energy efficient to run one stationary delivery system than a combination of today’s several stationary (water pipelines, gas pipelines, sewage, etc.) and mobile transportation vehicles (personal cars, company tracks, etc.). This system will help to reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. It is well-known information that comparing rail traffic with other traffic modes, the rail traffic is undoubtedly the most reliable traffic mode. It also has other advantages when compared to existing product transport systems. They are higher transportation capacity and better price conditions, possibilities of the optimization of transport processes, safety, maintenance, and ecological perspectives (Graham et al., 2003; Banister and Turstain-Goodwin, 2011; Hensher et al, 2012; Loo et al., 2012).

Figure 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1. Illustration of the City Utility Product Distribution and Transportation Railway 

 

Smart Containers/Transports (SCTs)

 

The vignette assumes that there will be Smart Containers/Transports (STCs) operating between houses/buildings and the city railway system. STC are not robots but they are smart containers and carriers operated by the SUR2111 system. STCs will carry any utility product and services in proper containers. For example, water would be distributed regularly and periodically based on the demand and consumption rates of the buildings, and wastewater would be collected in the same manner. On the other hand, energy cells, which would provide the required energies in future buildings, e.g. hydrogen batteries for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), will be delivered based on automatic customer orders when an installed battery is close to over. This vignette assumes an advanced version of Andrew Stanton’s movie character Wall-E (IMDb, 2008). STCs are not complete fiction. There have already been some developments to use such smart equipment in automating office material transport and automating movement in production facilities (Adept Courier, 2012). Of the advantages of such smart transport and delivery systems, no dramatic infrastructure change requirements are the critical ones. STCs can be operated in regular streets and building structures by some basic arrangements, e.g. dedicated sections on the road and streets such as cycle routes. Advancement in the satellite controlling technologies and unmanned vehicle control technologies in the future would probably enable to control the utility product and service STCs fleets over a city domain to fulfill the requirements of this vignette. 

SUR2111 UPS Stock Market

 Discussions on this vignette may have raised many philosophical, social, and political questions that are open discussions. But, here, we only focus on the some insides and ideas related to future STCs business model. One of the critical suggestions related to this vignette was how it would be realized, maintained, financed and operated? There are also some criticisms suggest that such technological advancements may have a negative long-term impact on unemployment. Firstly, the vision of this vignette addresses that the presences of SCTs in household provision in creating automation and decreasing the need for labor will increase the need for new types of labor. The creation, maintenance, and deployment of STCs are some examples of future labor areas. This vignette also suggests a change in the skilling of human labor. STCs will take the labor of an unskilled class; human labor will be more invested on the works requiring higher skill. In addition to that there is chance of building a new business model which allows people to own their own STCs which can be hired to utility companies or worked for their owners to make profit. That will lead to ‘SUR2111 UPS Stock Market’ which is a public entity for the trading or running of STCs on an agreed price. One can invest money on new generation STCs capable on effective and faster water distribution, while the others do it for bigger and cheaper fleets for waste collection activities. Assume that there is a need of 1000 STCs work load in district, then people can invest their money to buy STCs to run for that work in the SUR2111 UPS Stock Market. 

References

 

Adept Courier, 2012. http://go.adept.com/LP=69

Banister, D., Thurstain-Goodwin, M., (2011). Quantification of the non-transport benefits resulting from rail investment, Journal of Transport Geography, 19 (2) 212-223.

Graham, D.J., Couto, A., Adeney, W.E., Glaister, S., (2003). Economies of scale and density in urban rail transport: effects on productivity, Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 39 (6) 443-458.

Hensher, D.A., Truong, T.P., Mulley, C., Ellison, R., (2012). Assessing the wider economy impacts of transport infrastructure investment with an illustrative application to the North-West Rail Link project in Sydney, Australia, Journal of Transport Geography, Available online 6 April 2012, ISSN 0966-6923, 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2012.03.009. 

 

IMDb, 2008. Wall-E, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0910970/

 

 

Summary


Category of the action

Reducing emissions from transportation


What actions do you propose?

Introduction 

This vignette, of the ideas developed in an EPSRC-funded All-in-One Project [website: http://allinone.uk.net/], has been inspired from the advancements on mechatronics and robotics technologies and based on the replacement of all the household infrastructures with a smart transport system. Simply, it suggest to remove all existing infrastructures (water, gas, sewage pipelines) with a completely new fully automated transport based delivery system which is a combination of the City Utility Product Distribution and Transportation Railway (SUR2111) operated in city scale, and Smart Containers/Transports (SCTs) operated in local scales. This vignette also suggests a new business model to run and maintain the suggested SCTs namely “SUR2111 UPS Stock Market”. Details are discussed in the following subsections.

City Utility Product Distribution and Transportation Railway

 The idea of SUR2111 was illustrated in Figure 1. In this futuristic idea, all the subdomains of a city (residential areas, and multi-storey buildings, sites, etc.) will be connected by SUR2111 railway systems. These railways may be located underground or in a secure tubing system. They will continuously move in a constant speed in all possible directions among the subdomains between transfer stations and they carry STCs for the local areas or subdomains. It is a mixture of decentralized and centralized distribution and collection solutions. Some of the products may be distributed or collected from the centralized locations (e.g. city waste water treatment center) while the others may be distributed by decentralized manner (e.g. personal order from market places, or drinking water supply boxes/bottles). There will be several “transfer stations” which enables to transfer of the goods between domains and providers. This system functions as not only a distribution railway, but also a collection system of STCs which carry any goods, waste materials and empty containers from the subdomains (from costumers and producers), then deliver them to transfer stations.

Today we have similar collection/distribution systems are often provided by local government authorities, or by private companies in the industry (domestic waste collection, postal services, bottled water Delivery, Gas / LPG Delivery System, internet and communication networks, etc.). Most of these current delivery and transport systems are utilizing carriers (e.g. tracks operated by human) and they use existing infrastructures (e.g. roads). Mostly they are being used by demand and offers. For example, a customer orders one unit of product, then it is delivered after an estimated time delay to her house by means of transportation. The suggested SUR2111 system will be a fully automatic and controlled by a future smart and intelligent system which delivers and collects all the utility products continuously between the transfer stations and subdomains, while it would also be possible to collect and deliver any personal orders or products after a certain time delay (order-response time).

An important question to run this system was directed during the expert evaluations provided in the imagination workshop as “how much more expensive to transport, e.g. water instead of piping it?”. This vignette suggests that SUR2111, is basically a railway, will be able to use advanced solar energy technologies which will dramatically reduce the need of external energy provision. Furthermore it should be noted that the amount of vehicles and their energy consumptions used in the today’s transportation activities will be decreased dramatically by the initialization of SUR2111. And then the energy consumption of the transportation vehicles, pumping, distribution, and collection systems (e.g. pipelines) will be shifted to run the future City Utility Product Distribution and Transportation Railway. It is more feasible and energy efficient to run one stationary delivery system than a combination of today’s several stationary (water pipelines, gas pipelines, sewage, etc.) and mobile transportation vehicles (personal cars, company tracks, etc.). This system will help to reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. It is well-known information that comparing rail traffic with other traffic modes, the rail traffic is undoubtedly the most reliable traffic mode. It also has other advantages when compared to existing product transport systems. They are higher transportation capacity and better price conditions, possibilities of the optimization of transport processes, safety, maintenance, and ecological perspectives (Graham et al., 2003; Banister and Turstain-Goodwin, 2011; Hensher et al, 2012; Loo et al., 2012).

Figure 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1. Illustration of the City Utility Product Distribution and Transportation Railway 

 

Smart Containers/Transports (SCTs)

 

The vignette assumes that there will be Smart Containers/Transports (STCs) operating between houses/buildings and the city railway system. STC are not robots but they are smart containers and carriers operated by the SUR2111 system. STCs will carry any utility product and services in proper containers. For example, water would be distributed regularly and periodically based on the demand and consumption rates of the buildings, and wastewater would be collected in the same manner. On the other hand, energy cells, which would provide the required energies in future buildings, e.g. hydrogen batteries for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), will be delivered based on automatic customer orders when an installed battery is close to over. This vignette assumes an advanced version of Andrew Stanton’s movie character Wall-E (IMDb, 2008). STCs are not complete fiction. There have already been some developments to use such smart equipment in automating office material transport and automating movement in production facilities (Adept Courier, 2012). Of the advantages of such smart transport and delivery systems, no dramatic infrastructure change requirements are the critical ones. STCs can be operated in regular streets and building structures by some basic arrangements, e.g. dedicated sections on the road and streets such as cycle routes. Advancement in the satellite controlling technologies and unmanned vehicle control technologies in the future would probably enable to control the utility product and service STCs fleets over a city domain to fulfill the requirements of this vignette. 

SUR2111 UPS Stock Market

 Discussions on this vignette may have raised many philosophical, social, and political questions that are open discussions. But, here, we only focus on the some insides and ideas related to future STCs business model. One of the critical suggestions related to this vignette was how it would be realized, maintained, financed and operated? There are also some criticisms suggest that such technological advancements may have a negative long-term impact on unemployment. Firstly, the vision of this vignette addresses that the presences of SCTs in household provision in creating automation and decreasing the need for labor will increase the need for new types of labor. The creation, maintenance, and deployment of STCs are some examples of future labor areas. This vignette also suggests a change in the skilling of human labor. STCs will take the labor of an unskilled class; human labor will be more invested on the works requiring higher skill. In addition to that there is chance of building a new business model which allows people to own their own STCs which can be hired to utility companies or worked for their owners to make profit. That will lead to ‘SUR2111 UPS Stock Market’ which is a public entity for the trading or running of STCs on an agreed price. One can invest money on new generation STCs capable on effective and faster water distribution, while the others do it for bigger and cheaper fleets for waste collection activities. Assume that there is a need of 1000 STCs work load in district, then people can invest their money to buy STCs to run for that work in the SUR2111 UPS Stock Market. 

References

 

Adept Courier, 2012. http://go.adept.com/LP=69

Banister, D., Thurstain-Goodwin, M., (2011). Quantification of the non-transport benefits resulting from rail investment, Journal of Transport Geography, 19 (2) 212-223.

Graham, D.J., Couto, A., Adeney, W.E., Glaister, S., (2003). Economies of scale and density in urban rail transport: effects on productivity, Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 39 (6) 443-458.

Hensher, D.A., Truong, T.P., Mulley, C., Ellison, R., (2012). Assessing the wider economy impacts of transport infrastructure investment with an illustrative application to the North-West Rail Link project in Sydney, Australia, Journal of Transport Geography, Available online 6 April 2012, ISSN 0966-6923, 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2012.03.009. 

 

IMDb, 2008. Wall-E, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0910970/

 

 


Who will take these actions?


Where will these actions be taken?


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?


What are other key benefits?


What are the proposal’s costs?


Time line


Related proposals


References