ConnX: the perfect mix for sustainable urban mobility
Ropeways have already developed into a major solution of modern urban transport in the past years. With the "ConnX" prototype, Leitner is now taking a significant step forward and creating unprecedented flexibility in the development of public transport with an innovative “hybrid solution”. She combines ropeways with autonomous driverless transport and promotes the use of e-mobility in public transport.
The new ConnX system developed and patented by Leitner is based on a ropeway, in which the cabin is transferred to an autonomous vehicle in the station, which then continues traveling on its own route. 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. ConnX will make an important contribution to increasing the acceptance of ropeways as urban local public transport and significantly expanding their field of applications. The name “ConnX” expresses the greatest benefit of the system, the ideal connection between an aerial and a terrestrial system.
"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. ConnX marks the keystone for the expansion of highly effective environmentally friendly mobility in the future."
Convenient and efficient transport without changing
The combination of a ropeway and self-driving vehicles allow convenient transport without needing to change.
Furthermore, the flowing, engaging interaction between suspended modes in the ropeway and ground-level sections provides perfect adaptability to diverse urban planning requirements. In this way, existing infrastructural barriers – such as buildings or monuments – can be bypassed. ConnX is not only a “missing link” between different transport systems or between two ropeways, but also a “last mile connection” for people and goods transportation. Klaus Erharter, Technical Director of Leitner, provides insights into how this novelty came to life and which considerations were crucial to the implementation: “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.”
Cheap to build, reliable and sustainable, thanks to e-mobility
ConnX strengthens the advantages of ropeways and creates added value from an ecological, structural and financial perspective, way better than conventional road and rail transport. In addition to the short construction period and low investment and operating costs, the hybrid solution provides a significant reduction of noise emissions and makes an efficient option for using e-mobility in public transport. Thanks to the reliable journey times, continuous transport and flexible planning of stopping points, the key requirements of a public system, are fully met. In addition, 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. ConnX is a “system mix”, which make ropeways ever more attractive as a local public transport in urban areas.