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Online deliveries via underground pipes trialled

17 April 2015 - 09:32 by Graham Miller

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One of the biggest problems associated with safe shopping online is the rise in the number of delivery vehicles that are on the streets of the UK at any one time. And with van sales hitting record highs this year, as a result of the e-commerce boom, people can expect to see a lot more commercial vehicles on the road.

However, a way to overcome congestion caused by lorries and vans while still accommodating the e-commerce habits of British consumers, has been developed in secret. And only now has information about an organisation called Mole Solutions come to light, according to the Daily Mail.

Based in Cambridgeshire, this firm has come up with a scheme to allow for the speedy and efficient transportation of goods, all using underground pipes rather than surface streets. The pipes that carry the automated, rail-guided delivery vessels will run beneath the streets of cities across the UK, and allow objects to be delivered after they have been loaded on at distribution centres on the edge of urban areas and vice versa.

The Mole Solutions pods are not only capable of housing two entire pallets of products, but also come with the option of featuring climate control, meaning chilled goods or those that need to be kept at another ambient temperature can be transported without spoiling.

An electromagnetic propulsion system will allow the capsules to move efficiently and quietly along the piping systems which are proposed, with tests carried out at a facility in Northampton helping to refine the system.

People in the UK love shopping online because it offers convenience and affordability. But delivery is still an issue, especially if it means that more congestion is inevitable. So perhaps the future really will rely on this underground solution.