Moving Freight Across the State
A new energy-efficient, freight-only transportation system developed by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) could redefine the movement of Texas goods.
For more than 10 years, TTI worked to develop a low-emissions alternative to moving freight and relieving congestion created by trucks in heavy freight corridors. The resulting concept is the Freight Shuttle System (FSS), a driverless, remotely controlled transporter that carries truck trailers or shipping containers over distances of up to 500 miles. Freight Shuttle International LLC (FSI) was formed to license the FSS technology.
Powered completely by linear-induction electric motors, the system transports containers on elevated guideways in the medians of highways or other rights-of-way. The FSS comes at a time when the freight industry faces mounting challenges—strained rail and roadway system capacity, environmental concerns and a chronic shortage of truck drivers.
Using only about one-third of the energy required by diesel trucks, the system can move truck trailers and domestic intermodal containers measuring up to 53 feet as well as all sizes of ocean shipping containers.
“Texas has been the No. 1 exporting state in America for more than a decade,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at the FSS demonstration and media briefing last fall. “This system will help us meet our growing demand for efficient freight movement and ensure our long-term prosperity.”
The Port of Houston Authority and FSI are evaluating FSS deployment options.