Concept design for Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro unveiled

Dromos Technologies and partners PriestmanGoode, Buro Happold and Rider Levett Bucknall have unveiled their concept design for the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM). The proposed concept design, one of three submitted to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, addresses vehicles, infrastructure, energy, environment, sustainability and system operations.  

Dromos offers a paradigm shift away from traditional mass transit. Dromos is an autonomous network transit solution for medium- to high-capacity transit where vehicles travel on a dedicated network directly from origin to destination with no stops in between. Traditional mass transit solutions present a number of challenges - they are overcrowded at peak times, underused off-peak, expensive to run, have a high environmental impact when empty, while unnecessary stops between origin and destination increase journey times. 

The Dromos network proposed for Cambridge and the wider region aims to solve these problems, offering fit for purpose vehicles, on-demand service with less than two minutes response time, reliable and flexible, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. 

Offering generous interior space, complete accessibility compliance, wifi connectivity, workspace, stowage solutions for bicycles, luggage and shopping, the Dromos solution enables fast, non-stop connections for rural and city residents across the CAM network. Its flexible, lightweight, economical vehicles provide private and personalised travel experiences for the entire community, as well as offering sustainable freight delivery services to businesses throughout Cambridgeshire.

Justin Phillips, partner and global head of rail and transit at Buro Happold, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority realise the potential for a first of a kind step change in mobility, sustainability and technology for the city of Cambridge, and its surrounding growth corridors. 

“Technology and transit are moving at pace. New approaches and innovations with autonomous vehicles inevitably keep evolving. Buro Happold helped the AG Dromos led team develop an initial design concept that will bring about a truly adaptive, realistically scalable and cost-effective solution. The concept will also bring the ability for early delivery and best aligns to the pressing growth ambition for this critical region to the UK economy. And of equal importance the team will provide practical outcomes that gives critical consideration to the environmental impact and minimise disruption during construction and operation.”

The designs are intended to help inform, challenge and inspire how CAM can realise its mission to be transformational for the future of the region. While the design challenge was not intended to find an ultimate delivery solution for CAM, aspects of the designs, technologies and thinking demonstrated could be adopted as part of the project's next business case phase which begins in April.

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