September 2017, India, Delhi. General designer Anatoly Yunitskiy and Deputy of SkyWay project designing organization Victor Baburin became a part of the official delegation from Belarus, representing the interests of the national economy at the business forum. The event was timed to the visit of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko to India. As a result of the participation, SkyWay officials have signed three agreements: with one of the Indian States, with a port, as well as in the framework of the development program “Smart Cities”.
The Company has outlined its marketing strategy in the region. The Company intends to focus on “ensuring affordable transport services in such areas that were largely ignored before” — the market segment where SkyWay will be able to avoid competition with the major transport corporations.
The technology was first presented at Smart Cities India and was followed by a series of materials trying to anticipate the exact profit to India and Make in India idea. The brightest of non-engineer events was that at the initiative of Tibet’s spiritual leader Dalai Lama, SkyWay General Designer Anatoly Yunitskiy met with him at Dharmshala. Now the Company gets ready to the International Railway Equipment Exhibition in Delhi. The certification of string transport has started in September 2017 In Belarus.
The article describes the dynamics in SkyWay development in India.
WHAT IS SKYWAY TRANSPORT
The project was conceived by engineer and inventor Anatoly Yunitskiy. In 2013 more research revealed the feasibility of the use of String Transport Systems for passenger rail in New South Wales. SkyWay transport systems is created for passenger and cargo traffic on the “second level”, when the transport runs using “strings” in the air. Main types of string transport are unibus, unibike and unitrack (cargo).
First samples of urban railcar U4-210 and personal light railcar U4-621 were revealed at a international railway exhibition Innotrans 2016 in Berlin in September 2016. Plans of implementing technology in Indonesia were announced after RailwayTech 2017 exhibition. Implementing SkyWay lines in Indonesia is planned with “Surabaya – Jakarta” line.
Having passed a range of international expert evaluations, the innovative SkyWay string system has proved its validity. At present, its main aim is to create an operating model of SkyWay testing and certification center in Belarus – EcoTechnoPark. On demand as part of certification process EcoTechnoPark can be launched in India before building working string transport lines.
SUDHIR SHARMA, SMART CITIES INDIA AND FURTHER PLANS
At the end of April 2017 SkyWay hosted important guests in Belarus. The design organization, production facility and SkyWay demonstration center were visited by a delegation of Dharmshala municipality. Throughout its history, the SkyWay Group of Companies is not only engaged in innovative developments, but also saw its mission in promoting dialogue between business and the Government machine, regardless of a country and part of the world that acting and possible partners represent. Representatives of these two sectors shared their opinions on the Company’s developments as positive.
In May 2017 SkyWay were presented at the Smart Cities India International Exhibition. Prior to this, the SkyWay presented its solutions at the RailwayTech 2017 in Indonesia in April and enjoyed the attention of the country authorities and local press. Thanks to the Smart Cities program, SkyWay projects can be upscaled throughout the entire country, since it has been developed by the Country’s Parliament to modify urban areas and to create infrastructure for a stable society in 109 cities.
SkyWay plans in India include opening of local company, based in India and accountable to Indian tax and legal bodies. The technology will be localized. Local manufacture will be launched, it will create new work positions and support labour interests of people of India.
The way the company sees its development in India addresses to Make in India programm and principles and shows the perspectives of investing into India to other Eurasian companies.
Now the negotiations take part in numerous Indian states. Local governments see great potential in string transport for both passenger and cargo transportation. The innovation is recognized as a working model and working alternative to many futuristic but non-realistic hyperloop-like transport.
Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the city of Dharmshala and trilateral investment agreement was signed for Jharkhand state.
HOW LOCAL CORRUPT OFFICIALS INHIBIT SKYWAY PROGRESS IN LITHUANIA.
As any other innovation string technologies meet some dose of scepticism. An example of destructive scepticism is seen very well in “Lithuanian case”. A brilliant example of politically motivated bureaucratic murder of the business. In 2014 SkyWay project was planned in Lithuania but after successful start and initial business steps it was paused due to politically motivated investigation which has started.
Investigation was used to force the company to leave the country, making negative hype in mass media and trying to pursue the company through The Bank of Lithuania pressure.
As any other post-soviet country, including Belarus, after restoration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990s Lithuania uses rhetoric of pro-national support of industries. The business was perceived as Russian-Belarusian economic “invasion”. And vindicated to move to some other place. To Belarus. Pre-trial investigation was closed June 2017. It lasted for three years – proper period to be sure that the business will move to other country and will develop enough not to come back and restart everything in Lithuania. Needless to say that that pre-trial investigation № 06-1-00068-14 was closed because of simply having no any data collected for any type of criminal consideration.
ROPEWAY OR SKYWAY. NOT A QUESTION AT ALL
Sometimes SkyWay is being compared with RopeWay. This comparison is a misleading practice, as difference is too big, but people simply have nothing to compare with. The core operation principle is different. At RopeWay passenger cars are driven by ropes and the ropes move special traction stations on each support. At SkyWay rolling stock includes a special trolley with independent drive movine moving a transport unit. It supports only bear a track.
Basis of transport system is differs as well. At RopeWay the basis is a steel rope, which must be replaced every 8-10 years, what leads to additional CAPEX, downtime losses and considerable inconveniences. SkyWay has flexible uncut track structure. The basis is a composite rail, service life of which is more than 50 years. The system provides 24/7 operation and replacement or repair of a rolling stock does not affect the operation of the entire track.
Still the main and most powerfull advantage of SkyWay is safety. RopeWat safety level is low: rope breakage collapses the whole system. The fall of a car from a huge height is possible and it has no antiterrorist protection at all, as well as it is instable to extreme conditions and stresses.
At the same time SkyWay system uses automated control and anti-derailment system, which increase traffic safety by another 10 times and transport is resistant to vandalism and acts of terrorism. Location of the track structure above the ground enhances safety by approximately 100 times. Anti-derailment system does not allow a rolling stock to fall even if there are significant damages, damage of a string stops movement only at 1 span.
GETTING READY TO INTERNATIONAL RAILWAY EQUIPMENT EXHIBITION IN DELHI
Victor Baburin, SkyWay Technologies Co. Deputy, comments: We have made sure that India is a unique market for SkyWay. First, because India is reaching the leading positions in the rate of economy growth. At the same time, about USD 1,500 of GDP per capita confirms the fact that transport technologies ensuring low-cost of travel fare will be in demand. That’s why SkyWay offering transportation solutions interested representatives of authorities and potential customers. Primarily, as a technology having no analogues and, secondly, as the technology proceeding with the stage of a fully-featured industrial prototype.
In this case, we are in line with the theory on breakthrough innovations that claims major Companies are primarily interested in sales of their products to major customers leaving thin markets aside unnoticed. Here small innovative Companies are coming out to the foreground. They offer their low-cost and affordable product, be it not of the same quality as the major competitors have. However, they are interested in search of new markets and they start to work at the markets that are not of interest to major Corporations.
In the course of our work in India, we have found such extensive market niches, where SkyWay is organically a pathfinder and is of great interest to customers. Primarily, it is the market niche of container haulage and the so-called “system of feeders” or transportation servicing of major logistics hubs.
*This is a content feature. The views expressed in the article are that of the company.