The way in which automatic transport systems are currently designed, is out of date. That is one of the conclusions of PhD student Corné Versteegt, who will defend his thesis on 15 December at TU Delft. This is important information for the transport sector, which will become more automated in the future.
An example of transport automation is the future Ondergronds Logistieke Systeem Schiphol (Underground Logistic System Schiphol, or OLS Schiphol), that will connect the airport with the flower auction complex in Aalsmeer and a future rail terminal in Hoofddorp.
The OLS Schiphol will use so-called Automatically Guided Vehicles (AGVs). These are vehicles that do not need a driver. This greatly reduces the cost of labour and also allows the system to be active 24 hours per day.
Automated transport systems potentially have many advantages, but researcher Versteegt also sees a number of shortcomings in current design practice. To much work is done ad hoc, there is too little cooperation and too little early testing. ‘A number of factors contribute to this. This is a relatively new, technically complex and dynamic field, and many different parties are involved; all with their own, conflicting, interests.’
Maarten van der Sanden | alfa
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