In recent years, the share of goods transported in containers has been growing on all modes of transport thus providing for many benefits:
lack of necessity in involving surplus labor force;
time reduction for goods transportation;
avoidance of rolling stock downtime;
minimizing the risk of damage to cargo;
packaging and relevant production cost reduction;
transportation cost reduction;
feasibility of intermodal shipping (moving freight by several modes of transportation without reloading the products or materials from one mode to another).
However, the traditional cargo transportation industry has exhausted its development opportunities to date and needs breakthrough solutions. Energy efficiency, eco-friendliness, profitability, availability, safety, automation, the pace of construction of new transport links and low operational costs – these are indices that need to be improved.
An alternative mode of transport that solves the above issues can be uSky cargo transport featuring several advantages:
applicability in regions with difficult terrain that are hard to pass, water barriers, and massive buildings;
feasibility of track laying along the shortest path;
high environmental friendliness;
low costs for track structure;
full automation of loading and unloading operations, etc.
uCont is an autonomous self-propelled electric cargo vehicle designed for the movement of 20' (TEU, Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) and 40' (FEU, Forty-Foot Equivalent Units) cargo containers at speeds up to 100 km/h.
uCont is an unmanned vehicle controlled automatically and driverless. Consisting of two multidirectional virtually hitched traction modules with cargo support platforms, it is equipped with a high-voltage traction drive, an automatic fire suppression system, anti-derailment system, and control system.
uCont U4-192-21 specification:
load capacity – 30,500 kg;
curb weight – 21,100 kg;
max gross vehicle weight – 52,655 kg;
max design speed – 100 km/h;
min vertical curve radius – 300 m;
ambient noise level – max. 75 dBA;
aerodynamic drag coefficient – max. 0.85.
uCont traction module comprises a bogie, support, electrical equipment, and body panels. Traction modules are designed to provide for uCont movement at a variable speed, direction, acceleration, stop as well as container attachment.
uCont traction module body panels are made of fiberglass. The exterior design of the body is defined by aerodynamic requirements and has smooth outline, that said the overall exterior reflect fashion trends.
The movement of the transport module is ensured by a traction electric drive powered from a live rail. Autonomous mileage of the EV with a gross weight of 53 tons through the on-board energy storage is at least 10 km. This mode is intended for manoeuvring in service areas (depots), handling areas, or when the live rail sections are de-energized, etc.
uCont operation accuracy and safety is achieved by an automatic intelligent system that controls all nodes and systems in an autonomous mode and from a control room, determines the prerequisites for the occurrence of emergency situations on the track and in the EV itself, and defines and implements actions to prevent such. The computer is able to both received and process tasks from the dispatcher, and take over the control. If no signal, the on-board intelligent control system acts according to the route task taking into account all input data. The computer also takes over the work of monitoring the technical condition of the transport module. By dint of various sensors, information about the wear of equipment nodes is sent to the dispatcher in a timely manner. The design of uCont allows for the ease of maintenance, repair and storage; the build-up allows for unit replacements.
uCont can be applied in logistics hubs, sea and inland ports, mining sites in various climatic conditions. uCont is designed and manufactured by Unitsky String Technologies Inc., and will be tested on currently abuilding tracks at uSky Test & Certification Centre.