The Futran System is the new revolution in public transportation that will change the way people and goods move around in cities, especially in the developing parts of the world where new solutions are required to address unprecedented challenges. To lower cost, improve reliability and enhance user convenience, all forms of public metro transit will be automated transportation in future and Futran is leading the way.
By creating a new, low cost transport layer above the existing road infrastructure and running automated pods on these, we reduce the cost of transportation drastically while improving efficiency, cost effectiveness, safety, reliability and comfort for passengers.
The Futran system can retrofit onto existing urban infrastructure without demolishing houses or buildings and costing is so competitive that the system can run at a profit with NO STATE SUBSIDIZATION, even in the poorest regions of the world! This whilst using solar power, local manufacturing and local skills. Automated transportation is the future of public transportation and Futran is making it both safe, reliable and affordable.
The Futran Podcar system is a revolutionary, South African-developed public transportation system that holds the promise of transforming the way people and goods are moved in cities across the world. The technology is designed to facilitate low-cost, high-impact multi-modal transportation that can turn a meaningful profit.
Because of its low cost, high capacity and ease of deployment, the system is set to help transform the economic destiny of especially developing communities around the world. It is arguably the most exciting developments in transportation technology since the invention of the jet engine.
By combining the benefits of automation, cost effective elevated guideway design, ultra-efficient electric motor technologies, shared utilization of vehicles and sophisticated grid-based traffic management, a new class of transportation system was developed that can be used to transform mining, manufacturing, distribution, people mobility and haulage.
Land is a finite commodity that humanity is only now starting to treat with respect. Once we occupy what is available, we cannot create more of it. Irrespective of its finite supply, we currently dedicate vast spaces of land to corridors of movement and mobility such as roads, railway lines, parking areas, garages, airports, road reserves and filling stations.
In a typical city as much as 45% of the surface areas are dedicated to cars, busses, trains, trams and trucks. Shopping centres often have more space for cars than for shops, apartments and office blocks have multiple stories of expensive floorspace allocated for parking, roads and railway lines cuts the land in two using wide corridors of unproductive land wherever it runs and in houses the bedrooms of people are often smaller than the garages for their cars!
To compound the issue, economic growth results in the movement of people and goods becoming even more constrained as cities grow and the need for movement of people and goods increase. The problem does not get better!
As human activity increases we are increasingly running out of land all over the world, and if we are to increase the level of mobility of people and goods without using more land we either have to go underground, as with underground metro system, or above ground, as per flyways and monorails. To reduce the number of vehicles that need parking at every destination it goes, we have to increase the shared usage of vehicles as opposed to single owner vehicle ownership.
Based on this philosophy the Futran System consists of a cost effective, super strong track elevated in the air above the ground level, and independently motorised electric vehicles that are suspended from the track. The track can be deployed on top of existing right-of-way corridors without creating new right-of-way while the land below can still be used productively for purposes other than vehicle movement. Automation and the use of offline stations further enables the units to always move at the same speed without having to stop at stations in between, and solar panels on top of the structure makes it possible to capitalise the energy usage for 25 years up front. Steel wheels on a steel track and the use of electrical motors further reduces operating cost dramatically, resulting in increasingly lower costs with increased utilization.
The system can be used to simply lower the cost of transportation, but it is the vision of the Futran group of companies that the Futran System will be used to create sustainable, productive, quality of life communities that use sustainable mobility to create a better life for all its members. Public transportation systems must be used to better the quality of life of communities and by enabling low cost automated transportation, Futran aims to help build better quality of life communities.
Specially designed automated, independently motorized, electric vehicles are suspended from the elevated track and each vehicle can independently negotiate splits in the track. Each motorized unit can also carry any of a range of load bearing capsules, making it possible to use the same track for the transportation of various types of loads. These design components, in combination, enables the system to introduce a plethora of new transportation innovations and options to human settlement planners, mining companies and supply chain practitioners. Amongst other things, the system now has the following valuable attributes:
· Different loads can be carried on the same track grid network at the same time, each with its own starting point and its own destination point
· Stations can be positioned offline so that moving units (Nutrans) can run past stations where they need not be and run straight to their end destinations following the shortest route taking the least amount of time
· Units always move at the same speed on each section of the track, enabling the system to be predictable and never have traffic jams or congestion
· The automated units can be called on-demand 24 hours per day, 7 days a week as and when required, as opposed to on-schedule
· When solar panels are used, the energy supply can cost-effectively be capitalised up front, reducing running cost significantly
· Typically, steel wheels are used on steel tracks and the motorised units use low maintenance electric motors. As a result the operating cost is very low!
· The track is make from a cost effective super strong structural element called a Solomons Knott Cross Beam that makes it possible to erect tall structures and elevated tracks more cost effectively than ever before
· Each motorized unit has its own switching mechanism to negotiate splits in the track, making it possible for units to run very close to each other whilst still following different routes along the track
· A centralized traffic management system is used to schedule motorized units and plan their journeys while each unit can complete its route independently, even if contact with the centralized unit is lost
The Technology was developed and tested in South Africa over many years, and in 2014 the first test units were commissioned on our indoors test track in Pretoria. A year later, the 1km test track outside Brits was commissioned and it is here that extensive testing has resulted in the refinement and eventual commercialization of the Futran System.
See what your city could look like soon!
Futran Conduit System™
Futran Podcar System™
Futran Heavy Haul™
Futran Heavy Haul system™
Futran OreVeyor System™
With ample space in the cabin, passengers ride in comfort
The system is well tested and proven at the original test site for heavy applications such as mining and haulage.
A small station can handle in excess of 6 000 people per hour
The Automated Futran OreVeyor solution runs 24 hours per day can run over rivers, mountains, ravines and roads, making it the the ideal haulage solution for mines. With solar panels on top and batteries or green hydrogen solutions for storage, it is possible to run the system carbon neutral, even in the remotest parts of the world.
Futran Podcars is the public transportation version of the Futran System. When optimally deployed, it is the most efficient and cost effective public transportation system in the world that can be used as the core of Transit Oriented Development cities.
Using the light-weight, elevated track network, the Futran System can easily be retrofitted on top of existing road networks in most cities to create a seamless new transportation system, elevated above the existing road system, where people can move from station to station and from building to building without having to stop at stations in between, at red lights or stop streets. All of this is possible without disrupting traffic on the ground, demolishing homes or creating new right-of-way corridors.
Futran People Pods are six to eight seater units that are beautifully designed to enhance the aesthetics of cityscapes. Pods run at a fixed speed on a dedicated track in the air, so there is no traffic congestion or time wasted for passengers. Passengers can request a pod for individual or shared use via a mobile phone app, at station-based kiosks or online pre-loaded access.
The Futran Podcar system is designed to run at a profit, even while running at some of the lowest rates of any public transportation system anywhere in the world. As a result, no state subsidization is required and the operators of the system can in fact contribute to the revenue base of the city by paying a royalty for the use of public land.
Although the Futran System is designed for People mass transit, Container movement and Mine haulage, it is the people mover version that holds the promise of transforming the way people live and move around in cities and urban settlements.
Let us know if you need more information
The system has been developed, tested and refined on a 1km test track in South Africa since 2015