Novel models of string electric cars (uBus) will go with a new ergonomic entry and exit system. We’re speaking of the sliding plug door with a unique design developed by the engineers from UST Inc. One of the benefits it offers is enlarged door aperture. Currently, it is at the final stage of implementation. A design engineer from Unitsky String Technologies Inc. Artsiom Sauko shared the details about the innovation.
“Previously, we designed our vehicles with swing doors. Outward opening required extra space”, – comments the novelty Artsiom Sauko.
The design engineer emphasizes that string transport stations use the platform doors like, for instance, in the uSky Innovation Center in Sharjah (UAE). Similar design can also be found at some metro stations. In this case, the swing door would require much more space in front of the vehicle. Development of the sliding plug door allows additional optimization of logistics and cuts the expenses for the construction of stations due to a narrower gap.
The essential difference of the doors developed by UST Inc. is that they are designed for fully automated transport. This design provides for sensors for the intelligence system to detect obstacles, analyze the situation at the station and response to any circumstances. These additional safety measures will protect passengers against possible threats while using the transport system.
There’s another point to focus on. Some countries like, for example, UAE, impose specific requirements on the width of door aperture in public transport. These standards are followed for comfortable transportation of wheelchair passengers. Such special-purpose chairs could freely enter the uBus with swing doors but the new design not only complies with required parameters but ensures even more comfortable entry and exit of wheelchair passengers due to extra space.
Artsiom Sauko recalls the challenges they faced while solving this tricky problem: “Back at the design stage, we were going to get an off-the-shelf product from the manufacturers that focus on doors for public transport. Although, we have not been able to find a partner which could suggest a product with the aperture width we required. Their experts referred to manufacturing complexity of such design arguing that this is a fundamentally new product. Third companies offered expensive engineering service solely for the preliminary concept study and declared minimum two years for implementation”.
However, flexible mind, top skills and ambition of the engineers from UST Inc. enabled them to solve this challenging problem on their own and in the shortest possible time. They managed to implement the design which was not only functional but completely conforming to the international standards. Moreover, the company’s employees did not have years of experience in the development of door systems.
What are the key benefits of the novel design?
Safety. Arrangement of the sliding plug door lowers the risk of accidents (as in the case with the swing doors which might touch the passengers on the platform). This is due to perpendicularly opening door leaves.
Ergonomics. Such design type does not require extra space, which enables to utilize the platform doors.
Comfort. Ever-evolving technology makes the sliding plug doors ergonomic in operation. Movement mechanisms of door leaves are almost silent, and the ease of manipulation allows even the disabled to open the doors with no effort.
Sustainability. The company’s philosophy is eco-friendly transport that solves the problems but not creates them. And the door system is no exception. Every material utilized in the design meets the international safety and sustainability requirements.
The new door concept is not just an important upgrade to make string transport safer and more comfortable but a demonstration of our employees’ top skills. The engineers from UST Inc. have promptly developed the system which conforms to the international standards while even specialized companies have seen it challenging enough to take at least two years.
Now the vehicles by UST Inc. will have different door configurations. This will bring better adaptability of transport systems to the needs of customers. Electric cars (uPod) can offer various capacity and speed, as well as ratios of standing and seating places, and minimum to VIP interiors. Passengers can enter or exit the vehicle from both sides. The movement is provided by both individual machines and in mechanical or electronic coupling. The performance varies from minimum values to 50 000 people per hour.