Features

2013 Create the Future Design: Transportation & Automotive Category Winner

Swift Tram: High Speed Automated People Mover
Carl Lawrence, Becky English, Graham Hill, John Murino, Elaine Thorndike, Gaby Aweida, Carl Talkington, Rob Kammerling, Kim Hedberg, Nancy Balch, Ilse Gayl and Ron Gremban
Swift Tram, Inc., Boulder, CO

Swift Tram is a rapid transit system that will get people from their starting points to their destinations more enjoyably than any other transit alternative available today. Swift’s automated (driverless) system is elevated, completely avoiding pedestrians, bicyclists, automobiles, and stoplights. System operators can offer scheduled and/or on-demand service, which passengers can easily arrange at kiosks or with their smartphones according to the time they wish to arrive at their destinations.

Swift Tram’s new rapid transit system can be used for moving people or freight. It operates using intelligent drive bogies traveling inside an elevated fixed guideway. Suspended coaches in two sizes provide scheduled and ondemand service 24/7.

The system is electrically powered, so its pollution profile is much lower than that of internal combustion technologies. That electricity is either grid-supplied, or it may be supplied by renewables: microgrid-managed solar PV over guideways and stations. Swift is smartgrid-enabled; its control system will make programmed adjustments in power consumption to economize under tiered power rate structures.

The bogie units are small, intelligent electric vehicles that run inside the elevated fixed guideway at up to 125 mph; they’re attached to the suspended coaches through an open slot on the guideway’s underside. In the case of a grid outage, there’s sufficient intelligence and battery-stored energy onboard to bring passengers to the nearest disembarkation point safely.

Watch a video demonstrating Swift Tram on Tech Briefs TV at www.techbriefs.com/tv/tram. For more information, visit http://contest.techbriefs.com/transportation-winner

 

Honorable Mentions

Making Night Time Driving Safe and Automated
Ofer David, Yoav Graur, and Eyal Levi, BrightWay Vision, Haifa, Israel

The problems of night driving are well known and include limited range visibility, incoming traffic glare, and stress in driving, as well as incorrect driver perception. The BrightEye® system enables the identification of obstacles and abstractions on the road for a range of 250m in a dark night and in bad weather. BrightEye’s technology uses Gated Near Infrared that constantly projects a clear picture of the road, analyzes the data it collects, and alerts the driver when hazards are present on the road.

For more information, visit http://contest.techbriefs.com/brighteye

 

Fuel Quality Sensor
Alain Lunati, Eric Hermitte, Sylvain Oberti, Xavier Capron, Tual Trainini, Christelle Kernaflen, Owsin Galtier, and Thierry Gergaud, SP3H, PACA, France

The system integrates an onboard optical fuel quality sensor to the engine to optimize injection, combustion, and post-treatment. The technology makes matching engine performance with fuel quality possible by offering the opportunity to account for fuel variability in the engine control strategies. From the optical sensor, relevant information about fuel quality is sent to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that adjusts engine parameters and settings according to the fuel quality in the tank. It doesn’t matter what type of fuel is used — gasoline, diesel, biofuels, jet fuel — since the optical system based on near-infrared spectroscopy is flexible.

For more information, visit http://contest.techbriefs.com/fuelsensor