Abstracts of Articles on Palleted Automated Transportation Technologies

Wilson, David Gordon, Palleted Automated Transportation - A View of Developments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Journal of International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences (ISATSS Research), 13:1, 1989, pp 53-60.

Authors's Abstract: The PAT system and its variations, under study and development at MIT, have come from a simple transportation control-and-propulsion technology: the combination of rack-and-pinion (and screw-propulsion) drive with synchronous electric motors. When this technology is allied with the technique of using off-line stations (and associated acceleration and deceleration maneuvers), a large vehicle flow can be achieved even at moderate main-line speeds. There is, therefore, an incentive towards using smaller rather than larger vehicles, giving passengers the capability of more individual routing. Virtually fully-automated handling of passengers and of freight leads to the capability of a pricing structure encouraging freight movement at low-demand times. This would greatly reduce the pressure on city streets. The technology has, in studies, been applied to long-distance people-plus-freight systems and to pipelines limited to carrying dry solids. This paper reviews the technology and the apparent advantages and disadvantages of the PAT system, and makes recommendations for future work.


Wilson, David Gordon, Pallet Systems for Integrating Urban Transportation, Transportation Engineering Journal, ASCE, Vol. 98, TE2, Proceedings Paper 8900, May, 1972, pp. 225-242.

Abstract: Transportation systems under development are broadly divided into train-type systems, in which vehicles stop at mainline stations, and flow systems, in which all speed changing and stopping is carried out on branch lines. Choices made for suspension, propulsion, control, switching, guidance, power and braking, are reviewed and the palleted automated transportation (PAT) system being developed at MIT using synchronous propulsion and control is described.

More details and illustrations of the PAT work at MIT

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Last modified: September 11, 2002