CargoCap will change lives - Prof. Hänsch considers the 5th transport alternative a product of the future

Mar 19, 2008

CargoCap is an idea that will change all our lives! - That's how the German book author Prof. Theodor W. Hänsch sees the idea of transporting goods with CargoCap through underground pipelines according to the principle of pneumatic delivery. This is why he has included the project that was initiated and developed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dietrich Stein into his recently published book "100 products of the future: groundbreaking ideas that will change our lives".

Starting from the latest results, in his book Prof. Hänsch presents 100 products which will mark the 21st century. The "products" originate from a variety of areas: architecture, health, manufacture, computing or traffic, only to mention a few. The latter category also includes an article on CargoCap.

High-ranking jury of leading scientists selected "products of the future"

A high-ranking jury consisting of 17 leading scientists of various research disciplines selected the "100 products of the future" under the patronage of the president of the Fraunhofer Society for the advancement of applied research Prof. Hans-Jörg Bullinger and the author of the book Theodor W. Hänsch.
Prof. Hänsch, as a pioneer in laser spectroscopy, was awarded the Noble Prize in Physics in 2005 and is currently working as a professor of physics and as the director of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics situated in Garching near Munich (Germany).

In their choice the jury tried to collect ideas in and from Germany that "were born in the present and can contribute to making our future nicer, simpler and better," according to Prof. Hänsch. Some of the projects are still in the fledgling stages at the moment, others however, such as CargoCap, whose introduction on the market could be in 2015 in Prof. Hänsch's opinion, are close to entering our everyday lives.

"When goods take the underground"

In his book author Theodor W. Hänsch titles the article on CargoCap “When goods take the underground”. The plan to develop a so-called underground pneumatic delivery on rails to transport goods originates from Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dietrich Stein. He has been working on the CargoCap project at the Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany) since 1998 together with a team of legal practitioners, economists, mechanical and civil engineers. “CargoCap can be regarded as the 5th transport alternative to road, railway, water and air, in order to transport goods within congested urban areas, such as the Ruhr-Area, through underground transport pipelines in a quick, reliable, timely, environmentally friendly and economically efficient way,” Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stein explains his project.

And who hasn't got stuck in a traffic jam chock-a-block with lorries trying not to loose one's nerves?

The reduction of traffic volume is not the only advantage CargoCap has to offer," Prof. Dr.-Ing Stein continues. "Other advantages are the reduction of soot particles in city centre areas as well as the saving of the growing petrol and diesel costs due to the electric drive and the prevention of accidents, noise and CO2 emissions." Even the underground installation of the 1.6 m (63 in.) diameter transport pipelines would practically not cause any obstacles or environmental problems for the people. After all, one single Cap - this is how the small unmanned transport wagons are called - could transport two euro pallets with goods.

Until today, theoretical research and development works on the CargoCap system have been made great progess. On the model track, which was built on a 1:2 scale in 2006, the results gained so far are consistently put into reality and are tested together with partners from the industry. In addition, in May 2008 a market potential analysis will be started at the example of the "Ruhr-Area route 'Unna-Duisburg'" in order finally set the course for the implementation of CargoCap. This would ensure that soon our goods would indeed take this "underground" to approach their final destination.

The book by Theodor W. Hänsch, „100 Produkte der Zukunft“ was published in September 2007 at Econ-Verlag (ISBN-13: 978-3430200356), currently only available in German.

CargoCap GmbH
Tanja Herzberg
Konrad-Zuse-Str. 6
44801 Bochum
Tel: +49 (0)234 5167 123
Fax: +49 (0)234 5167 109

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