Sustainable Operations and Computers (Jan 2023)

Identifying the feasibility of ‘travelator roads’ for modern-era sustainable transportation and its prototyping using additive manufacturing

  • Sakshi Dhall,
  • Shanay Rab,
  • Saibal K. Pal,
  • Mohd Javaid,
  • Abid Ali Khan,
  • Abid Haleem

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4
pp. 119 – 129


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With the rising human population, travelling on static roads is insufficient to meet modern mobility demands. The global economy loses hundreds of billions of dollars yearly due to traffic inefficiencies, including accidents, pollution etc. We undertake an idea engineering exercise to propose a new concept of travelator roads for future sustainable transportation which has been unexplored for vehicular mobility and is thus the novelty of this work.The proposal offers a paradigm shift from static roads and provides a more generic solution than other advanced transportation technologies. It caters to various United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and provides a safer, self-sustainable, energy-efficient & environment-friendly solution for overcoming traffic violations, jams, road accidents etc. Travelator roads offer easy & quick installation for transportation in rugged terrains & congested areas thereby finding applications in diverse setups like defence, urban & smart cities.Design model and possible calculations are provided to evaluate it as a solution addressing various transportation-related issues. The research methodology in this work entails a review of the literature on current and contemporary transport technologies, followed by an idea engineering exercise to construct a new concept of Travelator roads from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. Further, we propose the application of Additive Manufacturing (AM) for adapting this concept into reality. An AM technology-based prototype for a travelator road can be manufactured to provide a better idea for its effective adaptation in transportation system because AM offers flexibility in design, the opportunity for shape optimization, simplicity in making modifications, shortened time to market, cheap capital needs. Due to material-efficient designs, less waste, and a decreased requirement for production tools, moulds, and dies, AM is projected to result in a significant reduction of raw materials and overall cost involved in actually realizing the concept of travelator roads for future sustainable transportation. Although, there are a number of potential technical issues with AM-based technologies, such as the durability of materials generated by AM for roads, the amount of time required to build sizable amounts of roads, and the upkeep and repair of these roads, which must be addressed.