Mole Solutions believes underground maglev delivery is a better alternative to drone delivery which Amazon and other online retailers are trying to utilise on. The company wants to build an underground network of electronic, magnet powered transport lines exclusively for freight and rubbish transfer. These underground maglev mini-trains would be far more effective as it is cheaper to run, while having no impact on the environment.
As well as making the transportation of goods faster and cheaper, Mole Solutions believes that its technology could have a big impact on congestion. By cutting out the need for so many HGVs and courier vehicles, road networks would be far less swamped than they are now, it claims.
The plan as it stands is for the company to trial run its idea in Northampton and if all goes well, within a few years it could have a complicated network of criss-crossed tunnels under the city, allowing for the fast delivery of goods and waste to a number of hubs. So far the project has received some government funding, as well as extra money from companies that stand to be disrupted by such a system: couriers like DHL, and transport and property group Peel Holdings.
The MOLE freight pipeline system concept is to move unitised or bulk goods in customised capsules travelling in dedicated pipelines under full automatic control.The key design principles of the concept are:
- Pipelines to be laid beside or under existing or new transport infrastructure to simplify construction, installation and integration with current supply chains and distribution centres.
- Highly automated to allow 24×7 unmanned operation.
- Simple and mature technology to provide high reliability, availability and maintainability.
- Electrically powered to be sustainable and have low environmental impact.
- Enclosed to be safe and secure.
- Modular construction from factory-built units to ensure quality and minimise installation time and cost.
Mole Solutions Ltd was formed in 2002 to focus exclusively on the introduction of freight pipelines. The company has carried out a number of DEFRA/DFT and TSB sponsored studies to explore the feasibility and proof of concept of this innovative mode of transportation.