Local company unveils new form of autonomous transportation to move freight more efficiently

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The Texas A&M transportation institute unveiled a new way Thursday to transport freight and hopefully that will ease up some of the congestion on the highway.

Freight Shuttle is a local business that unveiled a new autonomous shuttle at its headquarters in Bryan.

The Freight Shuttle system uses single autonomous transporters on steel wheels carrying truck trailers or shipping containers on a dedicated, elevated guideway built-in existing highway right-of-way and powered by linear-induction electric motors with no moving parts. The FSS is also designed for use at congested seaports and border crossings. The transporters operate at about one-third of the energy required by diesel trucks. They require no onboard driver, and their movement is controlled with multiple redundant safety measures incorporated.

The FSS concept was created through research at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) to create a low-emissions alternative to moving freight and relieving congestion created by trucks in heavy freight corridors.
Conor Burns, Minister of State, UK Department for International Trade was in attendance today as they showed off this new technology.

Burns was there to explore joint economic opportunities in trade facilitation between the UK and the United States.

“I'm here in Texas, my first visit after the UK left the European Union and I’m seeing a classic example of collaboration and innovation between the United States and the United Kingdom and their companies,” said Burns.

Freight Shuttle said some of the benefits of the Freight Shuttle system includes the following:

Zero point-of-service emissions – dramatically lower overall emissions than trucking.

Eliminates congestions for trucks – increases reliability and dependability for on-time delivery

Eliminates potential for truck-related accidents and deaths

Privately funded and provides revenue back to the taxpayer for lease of air space right-of-way over public roads

Eligible for Federal Highway Reimbursement Funds if structured as Public/Private Venture

Proven segmental guideway construction technology allows for rapid construction

Powerful and flexible linear induction motors with no moving parts

Freight Shuttle CEO Steve Roop said the company planned to break ground on a commercial project in two years. A location has not been announced.