Model Train Cars with Self Steering Capabilities Navigate Their Own Paths in A Network of Track
On April 1, 2023 a new transportation invention was shown publicly for the first time at a model train show in Denver, CO. The invention by Holtzman Inc. can be described as trains with steering wheels, meaning a train decides its own path when running over a network of rails, not the tracks on which it is riding. In conventional rail networks, switches (turnout or set of points in UK) determine the path for trains. The invention, described in patent US11,364,940, uses lateral force on the train car to select a desired route at a junction, rather than having all cars follow the same route based on switch settings.
The invention is being first marketed as a toy to demonstrate the potential of this invention. It was originally introduced as a solution for traffic gridlock and for reducing CO2 from transportation. This invention enables new types of energy-efficient transportation systems for delivering people and goods. The urgency of climate change does not allow the years required for a traditional adoption. The models shown at the train show are 3-D printed and files are available for download, so these toy trains can be available by Christmas '23. Two variants are available, one that can be driven with a RC controller, and a computerized version that can be controlled with Wi-Fi. Videos of the models are on the www.holtzmaninc.com website.
Tom illiams of Holtzman Inc. says: "Climate change is the challenge of our generation. We can choose to meet it, or we can retreat into our shells and suffer the consequences. This rail system allows a network of rail vehicles to operate like cars on roads. Conservation is key. The low rolling resistance of rails can result in large fuel savings. The power of connected computers can result in safe travel. The rail cars can best be driven by a Traffic Control System while on the rails."