German University Designed Railcab
A German university has created a prototype rail system that could offer personal, taxi-style rail transportation.
The University of Paderborn claims the Railcab, which has been in research since 2002, will operate on train tracks as a means of individual transport.
The system’s cars use magnetic fields to move and can operate alone or as part of a group.
The invention could reduce overcrowded stations and remove the need for timetables or prearranged routes.
The service could be offered via mobile phone or the internet, similar to that of a taxi service.
The designs have primarily targeted passengers but the university says the RailCab could also be used to move freight.
More than US$15.5m has been invested in the project, but the university says it will be seeking an additional US$28m to produce a full-scale prototype.