Ropeway vagon becomes an autonomous electric shuttle. Leitner has launched the ConnX prototype, a unique “hybrid solution” developed on the basis of a ropeway, in which the cabin is transferred to an autonomous vehicle in the station, which then continues traveling on its own route.
Advantages of such solution? «Possible topographical or structural obstacles can be overpassed easily with a ropeway, while on the other hand, the “double solution” is also attractive for urban areas in which a continuous ropeway version cannot be realized» says Leitner, which is a Sudtirol-based company belonging to HTI group.
The name “ConnX” expresses the greatest benefit of the system, the ideal connection between an aerial and a terrestrial system.
Leitner ConnX prototype
With a speed of ten meters per second, the carrying capacity can be maintained over the entire operating period, thanks to autonomous locomotion on defined lanes without disruptions or delays due to other road users, Leitner specifies.
“With ConnX, our group of companies is once again creating new possibilities in the implementation of innovations that will bring tremendous benefits to people’s quality of life as well as to the environment,” explains Anton Seeber, CEO of Leitner and the HTI group. “One year after the presentation of the first Prinoth hydrogen snow groomer, we are setting another milestone with this urban solution. This new development positions us as a pioneer in the complex implementation of unique technology applications – this time in the service of enjoyable and sustainable cities.”
Martin Leitner, vice president of the HTI group and board member at Leitner, recalls the genesis of ConnX. “From the experience of the past years in the construction of urban ropeway systems and the understanding of the different conditions and needs, we have entrusted our R&D team with the goal of thinking one step further. This process has resulted in the development of a ropeway mobility system that avoids restrictions in urban spaces and can therefore be used even more flexibly – no more curved routes or visual intrusion in historic city centers – and can therefore be used even more flexibly. ConnX marks the keystone for the expansion of highly effective environmentally friendly mobility in the future.”
Klaus Erharter, Technical Director of Leitner, comments: “The concept of intermodal, sustainable passenger transport is key to the idea. The passengers should be able to reach their destination without changing from one mean of transport to another. Areas that are inaccessible to ropeways are reached by self-driving modules.”