ENVIRONMENT – Tested this Friday May 28 near Nancy, the Urbanloop unmanned shuttle is the cleanest and most economical transport in the world with half a cent spent per kilometer. Goal ? Make cars disappear from city centers.
Léa LUCAS with TF1 – 2021-05-29T07:00:00.000+02:00
The urban transport of tomorrow has just experienced its first great success. During a test phase carried out this Friday, May 28, on a developed track not far from Nancy, the Urbanloop project has just broken an environmental record. The capsule completed two laps, or one kilometer, for a derisory energy consumption of 0.05 kWh. The record was approved by Certifer, a company specializing in the assessment and safety control of rail transport.
This blue capsule – similar to that of a ski lift – is also the most economical in the world, with less than half a euro cent spent per kilometer traveled. Going at a speed of nearly 60 km / h, the shuttle, which travels on electrified rails without a pilot, can carry up to two people.
“The idea is to have a multiplicity of small vehicles so that users move without waiting, without stopping, without correspondence“, explains Jean-Philippe Mangeot, director of the Urbanloop project, in the TF1 report. “But for it to work, the vehicles have to consume very, very little. Otherwise it does not make sense from an ecological point of view.” The tests took place in the open air, but the objective is to circulate the capsule in tubes placed on the ground or partially buried.
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A project in progress since 2017
Invited for the occasion, the Minister of Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, launched “a big bravo” to Urbanloop teams. Project of which he salutes the “advantages of energy sobriety, complementarity with other means of transport, accessibility to people with reduced mobility”.
Developed since 2017 by more than a hundred students from ten engineering schools in Lorraine, they have accelerated the pace since the beginning of the year. “You need a machine that remains light so that consumption is not too high, but also strong enough to absorb shocks”, says Romain Savarit, a Polytech Nacy student who works on the resistance of materials.
Other engineers in the making are thinking about how this transport of the future can fit into the public transport networks of French cities. Because this green innovation “does not compete with other means of transport”, warns Pauline Godel, another student at the National School of Mines. “Only cars.”
While the project had around 200,000 euros in equity at the start of the year, it is now approaching one million euros and must now launch a fundraiser to obtain one more in order to finance the next year. and a half of research. This colossal budget will accelerate the finalization of the project in the hope of seeing it up and running for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. “The project as it was accepted must connect the RER A to the Olympic nautical stadium of Vaires-sur-Marne. For the moment, it is the most promising station in Noisiel”, ends Jean-Philippe Mangeot.
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