Meet LowCVP winner WeatherVelo at the Sustainable Urban Mobility Seminar - 10 December 2012
Mobilicty is an urban transport system based around lightweight electrically powered pods which carry up to 24 passengers. The system requires just half the energy to transport the same number of people as a diesel bus fleet.
Automated pods - Mobilicity lightweight, aluminium framed pods can carry up to 24 passengers and compare favourably with PRT systems - the system is less likely to deliver traffic jams.
Based on proven technology - Much of the innovation is proven bus/coach technology.
Proprietary IP - Three patent applications for: cellular route system for autonomous vehicles; autonomous vehicle with control means for optimising the operation of the vehicle; autonomous vehicle.
No manufacturing - Capoco's revenues will be from system scoping studies, system specification, project introduction, management and royalty payments.
Seeking funding of £2.5-£3.5m - External investors are being sought to fund the pilot system phase, for which Capoco aims to raise between £2.5 million and £3.5 million.
Capoco Design has developed Mobilicity, an urban transport system based around lightweight electrically powered automated pods which carry up to 24 passengers each. The system’s energy demands and CO2 emissions compare favourably with personal rapid transit (PRT) systems.
Based on proven bus technology
Mobility is the result of a research programme between the RCA and Capoco Design director Alan Ponsford. Capoco, a bus and coach design company, has worked with many vehicle manufacturers and has expertise in vehicle exterior design, interior layout and structure. Much of the Mobilicity innovation is proven bus/coach technology. Based upon a lightweight, aluminium framed vehicle configured for urban transport, with eleven seats and one wheelchair space, Mobilicity’s maximum load compares with a typical UK bus journey: between nine and sixteen passengers.
The Mobilicity vehicle is designed around an electric drivetrain and will launch as a battery electric vehicle, but design packages also incorporate a hydrogen fuel cell version. The critical automation system, which covers the navigation, guidance and collision avoidance, is supplied by Robosoft, a French company.
In contrast to systems such as the Ultra PRT, in operation at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, Mobilicity does not retain the characteristics of a private car. It is therefore less likely to deliver traffic jams, according to the designers. They claim Mobilicity exceeds the Ultra system capacity levels by a factor of around 20 during critical rush hour periods, arguing that it is not vehicle lengths which set lane passenger capacity, but the inter-vehicle headway - which remains constant, irrespective of the size of the vehicle. Based on the transport metric of ‘pphpd’ (passengers per hour per direction), a PRT system will deliver automated traffic jams when applied in a dense urban environment, according to Mobilicity’s designers.
Mobilicity requires just half of the energy to transport the same numbers of people as a diesel bus fleet. According to its developers, Mobilicity’s performance is seven times better (in terms of CO2 emissions) than a typical electric car. They cite Mercedez-Benz in-house comparisons that the specific energy consumption of buses is between 29% and 35% of passenger cars. Mobilicity targets half of the typical Mercedez-Benz bus energy value, which would imply energy consumption of around 15% of a typical car. The automated Mobilicity is also expected to excel in the sphere of urban pedestrian accidents (based on statistics demonstrating that 98% of all UK accidents are driver-based). The intellectual property is covered by three patent applications for: a cellular route system for autonomous vehicles; an autonomous vehicle with control means for optimising the operation of the vehicle; and an autonomous vehicle.
Capoco will not manufacture or operate Mobilicity systems. It plans revenue streams based on system scoping studies, system specification, project introduction, management and royalty payments. The only hardware the company plans to build are two initial prototypes for testing and pilot operations.
Seeking funding of £2.5 - £3.5 million
Mobilicity expects to co-operate with external investors to deliver both a highly advanced transport system and a route into a new sector of innovative manufacturing. The original development has been internally funded by Capoco Design. External investors are being sought to fund the pilot system phase, for which Capoco aims to raise between £2.5 million and £3.5 million.