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Overland ATS: An Ambitious Autonomous Transportation Solution that Improves Upon Existing Infrastructure

  • 12 April 2018
  • Sam Mire

Overland ATS is a company aiming to revolutionize the way roadways are constructed, taking advantage of current infrastructure in order to provide a transportation system that is retrofitted to the future of driving. By creating elevated skyways which cater to the vehicles of the future, they hope to alleviate traffic congestion issues that plague virtually every major city while also taking advantage of advances in autonomous vehicle technology.

Overland ATS, LLC was founded in 2011, with their headquarters located in Gainesville, Florida. Their underlying belief is that, while federal and local governments have invested billions of dollars in planning, constructing, maintaining, and updating the road infrastructure which allows free travel locally and throughout the United States, this infrastructure has proven somewhat insufficient in meeting the demands of a growing population and evolving technology.

Overland ATS

Their solution is the Automated Transportation System, which is at the heart of their business model. It is a system which calls for the addition elevated urban skyway networks to augment current arterial roadways and urban street grids, as well as inter-city networks that run along the approximate routes mapped out by currently-constructed highways. Vehicles created to function on these newly-built road networks would be specially designed with a “saddle” on the undercarriage which wraps around an electrified security rail providing momentum through electrical power. Think of a monorail for cars, but a monorail that can propel its vehicles – which will also function as traditional cars – at speeds up to 150 mph.

The Overland ATS team also envisions fastening ATS-ready tracks to existing bridges. Tunnels, on the other hand, will be a far trickier proposition, and the initial approach is to avoid obstacles currently burrowed under by tunnels where possible. This, along with winning the battle to find support for the implementation of this ambitious transportation system, appears to be the greatest challenge facing the adoption of the Overland Automated Transportation System.

In a world where countless lives are disrupted by traffic jams that are frustrating in both their predictability and unpredictability, it’s evident that much of the issue, at this point, is structural. In this sense, an alternative of elevated, high-speed rail-car transportation routes is a forward-looking, problem-addressing concept. Considering the fact that the trend in transportation is toward electric, the system’s underlying power structure also makes much sense.

Overland ATS

Time will tell if the adoption of the ambitious Overland ATS, which is currently in beta, is adopted. The concept is sensical, yet it remains to be seen whether broad execution and adoption is possible.

About Sam Mire

Data journalist and market research analyst focused on emerging technology, trends, and ideas.

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