Ex-SpaceX Engineers Create Autonomous Rail System That May Solve Supply Crisis

Three former SpaceX engineers have founded Parallel Systems, a firm specializing in autonomous battery-powered electric rail vehicles for shipping and freight.

To do this, small autonomous vehicles are planned to be the stars of the show. These hold up cargo, like shipping containers, and allow it to be transported on railway tracks just like larger trains do, taking some of the pressure off the trucking industry, according to the firm.

Since they’re individually powered, the railcars can be joined together to create a larger fleet or split off to multiple destinations with the cargo in hand. It also means that they’re more flexible, as the “platoons” won’t need to meet a certain amount of cargo before they can start moving.

Parallel’s architecture ensures that the vehicles will be able to give switching yards a miss, too, saving priceless time. These are often congested areas where freight is manually sorted and reloaded onto trains.