What is the RUF system?
- The RUF system is a completely new kind of transportation
system. It is a dual-mode system where the vehicles are small electric cars
(rufs) or larger Automatic People Mover units (maxi-rufs).
- The vehicles can go directly from road to a triangular
monorail at 30 km/h.
- The ruf is "riding" on top of the triangular
monorail. The ruf has an A-shaped slot along the underside of the vehicle.
It is equipped with both normal road wheels and special simple rail wheels.
- The rufs can be closely coupled on the monorail.
- The rufs take current from the rail or from small batteries
when it is driving by itself on the roads.
- The batteries can be charged during rail driving.
- The range on normal roads is more than 50 km.
- The speed on normal roads is up to 80 km/h.
- The speed on the rail can reach 200 km/h (typically 100
- Rail switching takes places without moving rail. The
dual-mode principle is used for automatic guidance of a ruf from one rail
- via road - to another rail or to the ordinary road network.
- Normal braking on the rail is regenerative (motor=generator).
- Emergency braking is very effective using a special direct
- The dual-mode ruf has room for 2-4 passengers.
- The maxi-ruf has room for 10 passengers.
- The rufs can be privately owned or public.
- A personal smart card is used for fare collection.
- The name RUF originates from a Danish expression where
"get along in a RUF" means "go fast". It could also
be an acronym for Rapid Urban Flexible transportation.
Why is the RUF system such a good idea?
The car is the major mode of transportation in a modern society.
As a consequence, many large cities are suffering from severe congestion and
pollution caused by the car. Public transportation systems fail to attract car
drivers because of the inflexible nature of the train systems. The RUF system
is a system which combines the flexibility of a car with the advantages of a
Which problems can the RUF system solve?
1) The RUF system can reduce congestion and pollution.
Car drivers who choose the ruf instead of the car will be
able to drive directly from door-to-door just as the car. Instead of using a
highway, they use a triangular monorail placed 4 m above the middle of the road
(or in a separate lane). The rufs on the rail are coupled close together while
"riding" on the rail. This coupling principle will increase the capacity
of the rail and decrease the air resistance of the rufs. The increased capacity
will reduce congestion and the reduced air resistance will reduce all emissions
from the system.
2) The RUF system can cover widespread areas.
- Most modern cities are too widespread to be serviced
by an ordinary train system. It is not acceptable to walk more than 300
m to a station, and waiting times must be very low. It is unacceptable to
have to transfer between bus and train. Consequently, people use the car
instead of the train.
- The dual-mode ruf can go directly from door-to-door and
start whenever the driver is ready.
- The rail system enables safe driving at high speed with
low energy consumption and high capacity. The ruf can leave the rail at
junctions along the rail (5-20 km apart) and continue as an electric car.
Switching from road to rail and from rail to road is done at 30 km/h. Rail
driving is fully automatic.
3) The RUF system can act as a very attractive APM system.
- The rail network can have stations (off-line) where passengers
can enter rufs or maxi-rufs. Every passenger is seated with the same comfort
as a car driver. Every unit (ruf or maxi-ruf) drives non-stop between stations.
The passenger can relax completely, since the ruf doesn't stop until the
destination station. The ruf-train will slow down to 30 km/h while passing
the intermediate stations, but it will not stop before the passenger has
reached his destination.
- The departures are very frequent. Waiting times are almost
eliminated. The system operates 24 hours a day. The use of the system is
controlled by a personal smart card.
4) The ruf is an electric car without range problems.
- Normal electric cars have a severe range problem. Large
batteries are needed in order to obtain a sufficient range. Large batteries
are heavy, costly and take a long time to recharge.
- The ruf takes current from the triangular rail, so it
is able to recharge while driving on the rail. When leaving the rail, the
ruf is powered by small batteries. In a large city, all destinations will
be within 10 km from a rail junction, so a range of 50 km is quite sufficient.
- Small batteries means low rolling resistance, low braking
losses, low initial cost, low replacement cost (typically every 2-3 years
with present battery technology) compared with the batteries of normal electric
5) Low cost of monorail.
The rufs "ride" on top of an "ultra light"
triangular monorail. Since the rufs are much lighter than normal elevated trains
(400 kg/m for ruf vs. 1000 kg/m for a typical train) the rail structure can
be very slender. The rail sections can be mass produced in a factory and moved
to the construction site via the finished rail.
6) Low cost of establishing a RUF system.
- Compared to alternative methods of increasing traffic
capacity in order to reduce congestion, the cost of establishing a RUF system
is very low.
- No leveling of the ground is required and only very little
land is needed for the masts.
Which problems does the RUF system create ?
1) The RUF system represents
a new infrastructure on top of the existing road and rail infrastructure. In
the short term, this means that the cost of infrastructure will increase.
- In the long term, some of the existing infrastructure
could be converted to RUF rails. This conversion will increase the traffic
capacity compared to the old road/rail.
- The establishment of a RUF system may well be the cheapest
way to increase traffic capacity in order to reduce congestion. It is very
expensive to increase highway capacity in existing cities and new railroad
lines are probably even more expensive. A RUF rail can be placed as an elevated
monorail in the middle of existing highways or other main roads.
2) The ruf vehicle
is more standardized than normal cars. The individuality which seems to be very
important for car owners is limited with a RUF system.
- The RUF standard only limits some technical data for
the ruf. It is possible to add individual features to the design of the
ruf. The ruf can be equipped with many electronic devices which can be used
safely during rail-riding.
- To a lot of car owners individuality in design is not
as important as the possibility of individual driving in a way which is
environmentally acceptable. The ruf can offer just that.
3) The interior of
the ruf is different from a that of a normal car because of the A-shaped slot
along the underside of the ruf. It means, that it is not easy to move from one
side to the other as it is normally possible in a car (at least on the rear
- In a 2-person ruf, the situation is the same as it would
be in a 2-person car with the gear lever in the middle.
- The ruf is thought to be somewhat higher than a normal
car, because it is better for the passenger (better view, easy access) and
it is not a problem as it would be in a normal car. Normal cars have to
be rather low in order to be able to drive at high speed, otherwise the
air resistance would be too big. The ruf only runs at high speed on the
rail and closely coupled on the rail so the height is no big problem.
4) The ruf is a dual-mode
car, so it needs extra wheels, etc. for the rail-mode. This will add to the
weight and the cost.
The extra wheels are simple, inexpensive wheels because they
run on a smooth rail surface. The normal wheels can also be simpler, because
the speed on normal roads is limited (max. 80 km/h).
How can the RUF system be used by the typical commuter?
- The typical user will start at his residence (where the
ruf has been recharged during the night) and drive a few km to the nearest
rail. Before entering the rail, he will tell the ruf computer where he wants
to leave the system. He will enter the rail immediately and couple together
with other rufs to form a train while driving at low speed. After a very
short time the train speeds up to 100 km/h and proceeds towards its destination.
- If it is a long distance rail there will typically be
20 km between junctions, where all rufs slow down to 30 km/h before entering
the switching area. If it is a short distance rail, the distance will typically
be 5 km.
- In the switching area the ruf is automatically guided
in the desired direction (a continued rail or changing to road driving).
The driver can relax since the system controls the driving until the point
where he takes over again in order to use the normal roads for the final
trip (a few km).
- If the ruf is owned by the driver, it will be parked
as an ordinary car or automatically via the rail.
- If the ruf is public, the driver can leave the ruf at
an off-line station and walk the rest of the distance. This will be most
attractive if the destination is in a dense area of the city. It will also
be cheaper, since the public ruf can be used by other passengers during
the day (via the personal smart card).
- In the evening the ruf (private or public) can be used
for all kind of short errands. This is a big advantage compared with using
a normal car for short trips. Cold starts are very harmful for the environment.
Why has the RUF-system not been built a long time ago?
The development of ground transportation systems seems to
have been divided in two camps fighting each other.
Car developers have concentrated upon building better cars, train
developers have been improving the trains.
Nobody seems to have put energy into the development of systems
combining car qualities with train qualities.
For me as an independent professional inventor, it became obvious
that the answer to the problems of traffic in big cities is a dual-mode system
like the RUF system. Since 1988 I have used income from other inventions to
finance the development of the RUF concept.
It has been developed in Denmark where we have very few traffic
problems compared with other countries, so funding has been a problem.
A Danish company has been created in order to develop and standardize
the RUF system:
- RUF International
- Palle R Jensen
- Robert Jacobsens Vej 78.4.2
- 2300 Copenhagen S
- Phone (+45)32627842
- Mobile (+45)40787655
- E-mail PRJ@RUF.DK
How can a RUF system be implemented?
- In a city where congestion is a major problem and where
the density is too low to be served by a train system, RUF rails can be
placed along major arteries in the city as an elevated rail 4 meters above
ground, or at ground level but screened from the surroundings by a fence.
- Only few rails are needed, because the dual-mode ruf
can drive 50 km along the normal roads.
- A two-way rail in the middle of a 4-lane highway will
more than double the capacity of the highway. If many car owners convert
to ruf, congestion will be reduced significantly.
How can a RUF system be financed?
In a city with major congestion problems, the cheapest solution
will be to implement a RUF system. The users will be willing to pay a relatively
high price because they get:
- - a congestion free drive
- - short and predictable travel times
- - no transfer between transportation modes
- - high class comfort
- - privacy
- - no parking problems (if the ruf is public)
- - a good conscience because they produce very little
- As the construction cost is relatively low (mass produced
Ultra Light rail elements, very little land area required and easy mounting),
it will be a good business for a private RUF rail operating company. Further
more, some users will finance their vehicles themselves.
- The operating company will build the rail system and
a number of public rufs as a start.
- As a large customer (more than 10.000 rufs), the operating
company will be able to keep down the initial cost of the rufs and to ensure
that it will have a high quality and a long lifetime. Several manufacturers
will compete to deliver the very attractive number of rufs.
- The rail can be used by both dual-mode rufs and the larger
maxi-rufs (10 passengers). The operating company can offer mass-transit
via the rail if a large number of the rufs are maxi-rufs driving automatically
between off-line stations.
- The passengers will find the system attractive for the
- - very high frequency
- - seats for everybody
- - non stop between stations
- - privacy or company by choice
- - easy wheelchair access
- - smart card tickets
- - safe platforms
- - speedy loading and unloading
What does the ruf look like?
- All rufs have an A-shaped slot along the underside of
the vehicle. Its dimensions will be approximately: height = 50 cm angle
= 45 degrees.
- The height of a ruf could be 165 cm.
- The width could be 175 cm.
- The length of a 2-person ruf could be 340 cm total (300
cm in a train, closely coupled with other rufs).
- A 4-person ruf will be a little longer, but not much.
- Many variations are possible. Each manufacturer will
try to make the most attractive ruf, but they all have to comply with the
RUF standard defined by RUF International.
- The rufs can be closely coupled.
- Ideally the front and rear is identical.
- A maxi-ruf is longer, but the basic shape is the same.
How is the ruf propelled?
1) On normal roads, the ruf travels as a normal electric car.
The batteries are smaller because the ruf uses the rail when it travels long
2) On the rail, the ruf takes current from the rail so the
batteries can be charged during rail driving. Normally the rail driving is fast,
so the time is too short for a complete recharge of the batteries.
In the case of a rail power supply breakdown, the ruf train
can continue at reduced speed with power from the batteries.
3) If the user needs to go to a place a long distance from
the rail system, the 50 km range may be too short. In this case, he can use
a special hybrid unit which can be mounted under the ruf. It fits into the A-shaped
slot along the underside of the ruf. It contains an ICE motor running at constant
speed, optimized to have maximum efficiency and a minimum rate of pollution.
The motor runs a generator which produces electric power for the ruf. The hybrid
unit has a gasoline tank with sufficient volume so that the hybrid ruf has the
same range as a normal car.
How does the braking system of the ruf operate?
1) On normal roads, it can brake precisely as a normal car.
Compared to a normal electric car, the weight is lower because
of the smaller batteries, so the motion energy is lower and less energy is wasted
If future batteries are able to absorb large charging currents,
the ruf will be able to make use of the motion energy by using the motor as
a generator and charge the battery.
2) On the rail, it can use regenerative braking because the
current rails can absorb the large currents. As long as everything is working
normally, every braking situation will be controlled and the rail wheels will
never be blocked. The wheels can be smooth rubber wheels without brake linings.
The rolling resistance can be low and the noise from the wheels running on the
smooth surface of the rail will be very low.
3) In case an emergency situation the ruf has a special rail-brake
which can bring the ruf to a complete stop in a very short time.
- The rail-brake can put pressure on the sides of the rail.
It is placed so that it acts on the top of the triangular rail.
- Normal braking systems are limited by the weight of the
vehicle causing a friction between wheel and road/rail.
- There is no limit to the amount of friction which can
be obtained with the ruf rail-brake.
- If the passenger can withstand -1G as a maximum deceleration
during emergency braking, the ruf can go from 100 km/h to a complete stop
in 40 m. A car needs 150 m and a train needs a much longer distance.
- The consequence is that the rufs can drive with relatively
short distances between trains, so the capacity is high.
- The rail-brake is positioned at the ideal position in
relation to the gravity point of the ruf. This means that the ruf is completely
stable during braking, unlike cars on the road.
What does the RUF rail look like?
- The rail is made as 20 m long modules.
- It is constructed around a standard I-beam of steel.
- The rail wheels run on the "shoulders" of the
- The I-beam is covered by plates and fiber concrete.
- The internal space in the rail can be used by all kinds
of installations for the RUF system as well as for the city.
- It is much cheaper to run a cable within a RUF rail than
to bury it in the streets.
How does the ruf change from one rail to another?
- Rail switching is obtained without moving rail.
- The dual-mode principle can be used to switch from one
rail to another.
- The switching actions are as follows:
- 1) The control system knows in advance that the ruf has
to change direction. The user will tell the ruf-computer his destination
before entering the rail (or before entering the public ruf at a station)
- 2) Some distance from the switching point, the ruf is
separated (5 m) from the rest of the train.
- 3) All rufs are slowed down to 30 km/h before entering
the switching area.
- 4) When entering the switching area, the rufs leave the
rail and travel a short distance on road, but fully automatic. The ruf is
guided by an "electronic rail" (an alternating magnetic field
from wires below the surface of the road).
- 5) The ruf is instructed in advance which of the possible
electronic rails to follow (select frequency of field).
- 6) The front wheels of the ruf turn the vehicle so that
it chooses either a new rail or continues as a car on the normal roads.
- 7) Once the ruf is on the rail again, it couples together
with other rufs to form a train again and speeds up to 100 km/h.
- 8) If several rufs in succession turn in the same direction,
they need not be separated before entering the switching area.
- Dual-mode switching is a big advantage compared to normal
rail switching because no time is wasted moving the rail (which normally
requires 20 sec.). Since the turning action is in the individual vehicle,
switching is extremely flexible. High capacity is possible with this system.
- A disadvantage is that every ruf has to be slowed down
to 30 km/h at switching areas. Since the switching area is very small, the
average speed of the system is still high. In a fully developed RUF system,
there will be long distance rails where the distance between switching areas
is more than 20 km so the speed will be even higher.
How is the traffic capacity of RUF compared to other systems?
- 1) A highway lane has a limited capacity because the
distance between individual cars has to be large. 2.000 cars/h per lane
- On a RUF rail, the rufs are closely coupled and the distance
between ruf trains can be short because of a special direct rail brake for
- Even in the worst case scenario where ruf trains are
composed such that every ruf has to be separated from the surrounding rufs
before a switching area, the capacity is still 3.600 ruf/h per rail.
- In a RUF system with intelligent train formation, the
capacity can be more than doubled.
- The width of a highway lane (3.5 m) is determined by
the widest vehicle allowed access to the road plus a margin for the driver.
A RUF "lane" is very narrow (2.5 m) so 3 highway lanes can be
converted into 4 RUF lanes.
- This is a very important means of reducing congestion.
- 2) A railroad track with switches has a limited capacity
because it takes 20 sec. to move a switch. In that period, no train can
be within braking distance from the switch.
- Another limiting factor is the braking distance which
is very long. The friction between a steel wheel and a smooth steel rail
is very low, so the maximum braking power is limited.
- A RUF system has a very efficient emergency braking system
so the safety distances are much shorter than for trains. Also the dual-mode
switches give the RUF system a big advantage compared to trains.
- On the other hand a train can hold a lot of passengers
if you allow standing passengers.
- With a 50/50 mixture of dual-mode rufs with 1.2 passenger/RUF
and 10-person maxi-rufs with 75% occupancy, the capacity of a RUF system
can reach 20.000 pass/h per direction. All passengers are seated with the
comfort of a car and with more privacy than in trains.
What is a maxi-ruf ?
- The maxi-ruf is a large ruf with room for 10 passengers.
- It is still a dual-mode vehicle, but it is only used
on the rail system as an Automated People Mover (APM).
- It is approx. 6 m long and contains two rows of seats,
5 seats on each side of the console.
- Access to the seats is obtained via large doors which
are top-hinged so that they open like large wings. The passenger can go
directly from the seat to the platform so loading and unloading is very
- The seats in the front are turned 180 degrees so that
the passenger can communicate with a fellow passenger in the next seat.
All other seats are individual seats.
- The front seats are fold-up seats so that there can be
room for a wheelchair and a baby carriage.
- The maxi-ruf runs between off-line stations and the passengers
in maxi-ruf trains are seated intelligently so that every maxi-ruf drives
non-stop from one station to its destination. Every passenger in the vehicle
is going to the same station, which eliminates the anxiety of when to get
off. This is not possible with normal APMs or trains.
- A special version of a maxi-ruf can be equipped with
a driver?s seat in order to function as a flexible mini-bus.
How does the user pay for the trip?
- A privately owned ruf only pays for the use of the rail
and the power supplied to the ruf during rail driving. The amount can be
accumulated over some time and collected as a monthly payment. The system
only keeps track of the amount, not of the pattern of movement unless the
user demands it.
- The electricity used to recharge the ruf overnight is
paid via the normal mains supply payment. The power plants can supply cheap
power during the night because they have unused capacity in that period.
- A public ruf is rented by the user. A personal smart
card is used instead of tickets. Damage is prevented because the user can
be identified by the system via the personal smart card. The computer in
the ruf only remembers the last user, so when the next user has ended his
trip, the previous user is automatically erased from the memory.
- It is possible to have flexible fares which can be negotiated
via the built in data display. If for example a ruf arrives at a rail at
a time where the flow is moderate, the system will prefer that a train of
maybe 10 rufs is formed in order to save energy. Some rufs have already
arrived, but they are not in a hurry and wish to drive as cheaply as possible.
The next ruf is in a hurry and the driver asks the computer for the price
of an immediate departure. The display shows the price and if the user accepts
the price, the ruf-train departs at once. The other rufs only pay the low
fare, so everybody is satisfied.
How does a RUF APM system work?
- A RUF rail network can be used both for individual dual-mode
rufs (2-4 persons) and for larger maxi-ruf Automatic People Mover units
- The maxi-rufs run between stations placed along the rail
but off-line so that other rufs can pass the station while the maxi-ruf
is at a stand still at the platform.
- Off-line stations are possible in a RUF system because
switching is extremely flexible using the dual-mode principle. When no rail
has to be moved, a ruf can turn freely without delaying the following rufs.
- The units are much smaller than normal trains and driverless.
This means that it is possible to match the capacity almost perfectly to
the actual flow of passengers.
- The maxi-ruf is constructed in such a way that loading
and unloading is extremely fast. There are only two rows of seats and when
the maxi-ruf is at a platform, its top hinged doors open along the sides
so that all passengers immediately have direct access to the platform from
- Every maxi-ruf runs non-stop between stations. The service
is operated through the use of personal smart cards. When a passenger arrives
at the station, he puts the card into a card reader and pushes a button
for the desired destination. The system has decided that a certain maxi-ruf
is going non-stop to this station, so he is directed to take a seat in this
vehicle and wait until it has been filled. The maxi-ruf is waiting in a
off-rail position, so that other maxi-rufs are not affected by its presence.
When it has been filled, it departs immediately. It is then merged into
the stream of rufs on the rail at the junction.
- It is placed in a train in such a way that the train
only has to split at one position when it has to leave the train again in
order to drive to the platform.
- The doors do not open until the maxi-ruf reaches its
destination, so the passengers can relax in comfort and relative privacy,
since there is only one row of seats on either side of the A-shaped console
in the middle.
- During periods with less passenger flow, the smaller
2-person public rufs can manage/handle the major part of the traffic. In
this way, the APM can run as a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) 24 hours a day.
- Compared to normal train transit systems, RUF
- - higher frequency, almost no waiting time
- - non-stop from origin station to destination station
- - higher level of comfort, all passengers are seated
- - more privacy, most seats are separate
- - better service (24-hours service)
- - easy ticketing (smart card)
- - less vandalism because of the personal smart card
- - good economy because the rail is used by private rufs
- - good economy because of perfect match to passenger
How can the RUF APM be used by elderly or disabled people?
- Since the RUF APM offers non-stop transportation from
station to station, it is very easy to use the system. The passengers need
not keep an eye on the names of the stations to know when to get off. The
ruf simply stops first time at the station where they wish to get off.
- There are no standing places in a RUF APM.
- Access to the seats is extremely easy, since the doors
open so that the passengers can step directly from the platform to their
seats. The height of the seat is optimized so that minimum force is used
to get up and down from the seat.
- Every maxi-ruf has room for two wheel chairs. The two
first seats in each row can be folded to make room for the wheel chair.
The level of the platform equals the bottom of the maxi-ruf so that it is
possible to drive onboard without assistance.
- A special version of the maxi-ruf can be equipped with
a driver?s seat, so that it can operate both on the rail system and on the
normal streets. The chauffeur can help elderly and disabled people to get
access to the maxi-ruf directly from their residence.
Where can the RUF rails be placed?
- Compared to normal rail or a new highway lane in a large
city, it is easy to find room for the slender RUF rail.
- The rail consists of 20 m long modules with a triangular
cross section. The height is approx. 1 m and the width at the baseline is
also approx. 1 m.
- It can be placed on top of masts in a height of 4 m.
This placement will give maximum flexibility and eliminate barrier effect.
It can also be placed at ground level, but then it must be screened from
the surroundings because the rail includes electrical power for the rufs.
- It can also be placed in tunnel tubes. In this case,
3 rails can be placed in a tube of the same diameter needed for a normal
- Because the RUF system is a dual-mode system, the rails
only have to cover a city with the same density as a highway network. The
ruf can use the normal roads to drive from the rail to the destination.
- The visual impact of a RUF rail is much less than that
of other elevated train systems. The rail is more slender and the vehicles
are much lower (typically 1.65 m compared to 3.5 m for a normal train).
Furthermore, the rufs "ride" on top of the triangular rail in
such a way that only the upper 1 m of the vehicle is visible above the rail.
On the other hand they run much more frequently than normal trains.
- In elevated systems in cities, it is very important how
noisy the system is. The rail wheels of the ruf are rubber wheels with a
smooth surface so there is very little noise . Furthermore, the rail wheels
are partly screened from the surroundings by the vehicle itself so very
little noise will escape to the surroundings.
- A very interesting possibility is to convert the fast
lane of a six- (or more) lane highway into a RUF rail. It would further
reduce the mounting costs of the rail and it would dramatically increase
the traffic capacity of the highway. The car drivers who convert to ruf
will immediately experience that congestion (for his part) will be almost
How does a RUF subway work?
- A subway with RUF rails will have some very interesting
- First of all, a standard diameter tunnel tube can contain
3 RUF rails, so the cost is much lower than the cost of a subway based upon
ordinary rail systems.
- Secondly, it is possible to create a RUF subway, where
the stations are at surface level. People do not like to use underground
stations, but normally it is not possible to let the train rise to ground
level at stations, because trains cannot climb steep slopes.
- The ruf has a special drive system which allows the ruf
to have much higher traction if it is needed. The maximum traction force
of a train is limited by the friction between the steel rail and the wheels.
This friction is proportional to the weight of the vehicle. In a RUF system,
the drive wheels work independently of the weight, so there is no limit
to the traction force. This means that a ruf can climb rather steep slopes,
so stations can be placed at ground level. Stations are still off-line,
so the main rail can remain in a tube underground.
- With stations at ground level, the gravity will help
accelerate and decelerate the rufs so energy consumption could be further
What does the ruf owner do when he needs to drive more
than 25 km away from the rail?
- In a fully developed RUF system all relevant land areas
will be covered with RUF rail networks with a mesh size of less than 20
km. In this future situation every position can be reached with a ruf.
- In the meantime users will occasionally need to drive
more than 25 km away from the rail.
- If the user still owns a normal car, he could use that
for the long trip, but the ruf has some possibilities also.
- When the ruf is not on the rail, it has an empty space
along the bottom of the vehicle. This space could be used to mount a "hybrid
unit" which consists of:
- 1) A generator making current for the ruf.
- 2) A motor (gasoline) running at constant speed and optimized
for maximum efficiency and minimum pollution.
- 3) A gasoline tank.
- The ruf user could rent a hybrid unit from the gas station,
mount it in 20 sec. and continue as a hybrid electric car with a range of
several hundred km.
Can small goods be transported via the RUF system?
- Since the switching and rail driving is fully automatic,
it is possible to have driverless containers for small goods on the rail
- In a fully developed rail system, RUF containers could
replace a large portion of the very problematic transport of goods on large
trucks. One large truck makes as much damage to the roads as 10.000 normal
- The mechanical coupling between rufs can be used for
coupling two rufs together on normal roads also. This means that a RUF container
can be brought directly to the destination as a trailer driven by a normal
- RUF containers would typically use the rail network during
the night when the traffic from normal rufs is low and the current is cheap.
The system has full control over the movements of the container so it is
easy to predict when it will arrive.
How can a ruf be parked?
- A privately owned ruf can be parked as a quite normal
car. It can also be parked automatically if the RUF system includes automatic
parking facilities via the rail system. In this case, the owner leaves the
ruf at a station nearby his destination and sends it away automatically
while he continues to his destination by walking.
- A public ruf has more possibilities.
- It can be parked as a normal car and reserved so that
it is ready when the user needs it again. He will then have to pay extra
for the reservation.
- It can be left almost anywhere in the city, because it
can be reused by other users.
- It can also be parked at a special "parking rail"
where the rufs are parked closely on a short rail. They are recharged while
waiting for a new user. The new user takes the first ruf on the rail using
his personal smart card to open it and drives away. When he has finished
his ride, he parks at the rear end of the parking rail. The user will obtain
a bonus if he parks the ruf at a parking rail.
- This way, rufs are reused many times during the day and
after work, the public ruf users can take a ruf and drive it all the way
home to their residence where it can be recharged and protected against
- The result is that the city will be relieved from the
burden of too many parked cars. The RUF operator (who owns the public rufs)
will save money, since he will not need so much storage capacity if the
users take it home during the night.
Is Park and Ride possible in a RUF system?
- In the situation where a large city has a RUF system
with public rufs covering the whole city, but not the rural areas surrounding
it, some users will still need a normal car because they live more than
50 km from the rail system.
- These users can be very well served with a RUF Park and
- Normally in a Park and Ride system, you park the car
at a large parking lot, walk several hundred meters to the train platform
and wait for a train to arrive.
- In a RUF system, you drive to the parking place and park
your car quite close to a public ruf waiting at the same parking place.
You walk a few meters to the ruf and drive immediately to the rail and depart
for the city.
Where can I get more information about the RUF system?
- RUF International
- Palle R Jensen
- Robert Jacobsens Vej 78.4.2
- 2300 Copenhagen S
- Phone (+45)32627842
- Mobile (+45)40787655
- E-mail PRJ@RUF.DK
- WEB: www.ruf.dk
- The system has been invented by Palle R Jensen.