Supplemental Car Wheels And Rails Patents (Class 104/243)
  • Patent number: 9555819
    Abstract: A guided vehicle includes a guidance unit having first and second V-mounted guide pulleys resting on first and second running surfaces of a guide rail. The running surfaces are on sides of a median longitudinal plane of the guide rail and each pulley has a flange for freely gripping the guide rail. A device and method protecting against loss of vehicle guidance include a section with longitudinal height fixed along its length to a guide rail part, between running surfaces, the section having a cross-section guiding the unit during derailment or loss of guidance thereof with the section fixed to the guide rail part. The cross-section geometry holds the first pulley flange on the side of the median plane including the first pulley running surface and the second pulley flange on the side including the second pulley running surface. A device fixes the section to the guide rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2017
    Assignee: SIEMENS S.A.S.
    Inventor: Luciano Consoli
  • Patent number: 8973507
    Abstract: The present invention provides a bogie for a guide rail type vehicle that runs along a predetermined guideway. The bogie includes a turn frame connected to a vehicle body; an axle turnably mounted to the turn frame via bearings and; a guide frame mounted to the axle; a first pair of guide wheels rotatably provided at a vehicle body end side portion of the guide frame; a second pair of guide wheels rotatably provided at a vehicle body center side portion of the guide frame; a stopper provided so as to project from an upper surface on a vehicle body side of the axle toward the vehicle body; and a pair of stopper receivers arranged facing each other at intervals from the stopper in a vehicle lateral direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroki Kurahashi, Nobuyuki Fujio, Hiroyuki Kono, Yukihide Yanobu, Akihisa Kawauchi, Kousuke Katahira
  • Publication number: 20140311377
    Abstract: RailPods are an alternative personal rapid transit system that operate on and utilize existing railroad infrastructure. RailPods are one to two passenger vehicles that travel on one rail of a traditional railroad track. RailPods provide on-demand transportation to cities and towns where rail exists or can be built.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 20, 2014
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Applicant: RAIL POD INCORPORATED
    Inventor: Brendan ENGLISH
  • Patent number: 8851253
    Abstract: A vehicle-related system adapted for electrically driving a vehicle along a road-way. The vehicle has three sources of power: a vehicle-related power generator, a set of batteries and vehicle-external electric stations. The vehicle is provided with a current collector which is displaceable up and down and sideways in relation to the direction of transportation, in order to be brought into mechanical and electrical contact with elongated tracks positioned below the roadway and comprising a conductor adapted to be connected with an electric station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Elways AB
    Inventor: Gunnar Asplund
  • Patent number: 8776969
    Abstract: An arrangement for overload restriction associated with a system adapted for electrically driving a vehicle along a roadway. The vehicle is provided with a current collector, which is displaceable up and down and sideways in relation to the direction of transportation, in order to be brought into mechanical and electrical contact with elongated tracks positioned below the roadway and comprising a conductor adapted to be supplied with current and put under voltage. The arrangement comprises a circuit for limiting the momentary power outlet connected to said vehicle-external power source and being adapted to supply power to said conductor within the roadway section via said switch when the vehicle passes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Elways AB
    Inventor: Gunnar Asplund
  • Patent number: 8776970
    Abstract: An arrangement adapted for letting water pass by electrical conductors and their contact surfaces related to a track of a system adapted for electrically driving a vehicle along a roadway. The vehicle is provided with a current collector which is displaceable up and down and sideways in relation to the direction of transportation, in order to be brought into mechanical and electrical contact with elongated tracks positioned below the roadway and comprising a conductor adapted to be supplied with current and put under voltage. At least two or three tracks are disposed parallel to each other in a common rail structure, with at least two of these tracks being adapted to support and contain individual electrical conductors with contact surfaces put under voltage, and wherein at least one track is disposed closer to the highest point of the roadway and adjacent to a track containing one of said conductors with contact surfaces, which may be put under voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Elways AB
    Inventor: Gunnar Asplund
  • Patent number: 8763774
    Abstract: A rail structure related to a track of a system adapted for electrically driving a vehicle along a roadway. The vehicle is provided with a current collector which is displaceable up and down and sideways in relation to the direction of transportation, in order to be brought into mechanical and electrical contact with elongated tracks positioned below the roadway and comprising a conductor adapted to be supplied with current and put under voltage. The rail structure comprises one or more tracks oriented parallel with external wall sections made of metal, and a partition separating the external wall sections and comprising an intermediate wall made of an electrically conductive material. Conductors are arranged in a lower portion of the tracks, respectively. The tracks comprise electrically insulating layers applied to surface portions facing each other of said wall sections and the partition, the insulating layers being coordinated with the lower portions and intended to support the conductors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Elways AB
    Inventor: Gunnar Asplund
  • Patent number: 8342101
    Abstract: Disclosed is a transportation system with integrated infrastructure. In one embodiment, this infrastructure takes the form of a hollow elevated load bearing guideway structure designed to support the weight of traveling vehicles. The structure supports a backbone beam, or rail, that has multiple functions. These functions may include vehicle control, security, and energy delivery. The structure is bimodal meaning vehicles can have wheels like cars or steel rimmed wheels like a train or any combination thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: WFK & Associates, LLC
    Inventor: Waldemar F. Kissel
  • Patent number: 8245648
    Abstract: A guided vehicle transportation system is described in the application. The system includes guard wheels and a guard rail positioned along a center line of a guide track. The guard rail has a groove in which the guard wheels are received with a predetermined clearance between the periphery of the guard wheels and side walls of the groove. The guard rail has a flange extending toward the groove at the top of each side wall. The vehicle has first arms extending in longitudinal direction and being attached rotatably at a central part of an axle provided for suspending each pair of front wheels and rear wheels, and the guard wheels are attached rotatably and directly to the both end parts of the first arms or attached rotatably to both end parts of second arms each of which is attached to a corresponding end part of the first arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2012
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shunji Morichika, Katsuaki Morita, Masahiro Yamaguchi, Kosuke Katahira, Yasuhiro Nagamichi
  • Patent number: 8161889
    Abstract: The present invention provides the structure of a bogie for a vehicle in a track type transportation system in which the vehicle runs along a predetermined track, which can be simplified, and lightweight and which can be run at a high speed with the maintainability therefor being enhanced, comprising a guide rail 14 laid on the track 12, guide wheels 51 capable of traveling being made into contact with the guide rail 14, a guide arm 48 attached thereto with the guide wheels 51, and a guide wheel support bracket 52 for supporting the guide arm 48 arranged underneath an axle 22 of the vehicle so that the guide arm 48 is pivotable around a pivotal vertical support shat 56, left and right of the vehicle, and the guide arm 48, the guide wheels 51 and the guide wheel support bracket 52 constitute a unit structure which is attached to the axle 22 or a bogie frame 26 of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shunji Morichika, Katsuaki Morita, Hiroyuki Kono, Hiroyuki Mochidome, Hiroshi Yamashita, Masahiro Yamaguchi, Kosuke Katahira
  • Patent number: 8151713
    Abstract: The guidance system comprises two guidance devices (16) mounted in opposite directions either side of the axle (2) and each comprising: a guidance arm (17) terminated by at least one guidance roller (18); a set of articulated connecting rods serving as a deformable link interface (23) between the axle and the guidance arm; and a jack (29) with two independent and opposing rods (30, 31), having a “rods extended” position in which its two rods lock the set of connecting rods to render it rigid and orient the axle, and a “rods retracted” position in which the set of connecting rods is free and allows a lateral oscillation. Preferably, the jack (29) offers an additional function for damping the lateral oscillation. This invention is of interest in the field of the guidance of public transport road vehicles by a rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: Lohr Industrie
    Inventor: Jean-Luc Andre
  • Patent number: 7891303
    Abstract: A system for guiding a vehicle along a guiding rail includes a guide roller device, with at least one rolling bearing roller and at least one lateral roller having a diameter and shape contacting the rail so that the lateral roller has the same speed at a point of contact with the rail as the central bearing roller on a rolling surface on the rail. The system can be used for tramways.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2011
    Assignee: Societe Europeenne d'Ingeniere Mecanique - Eurodim
    Inventors: Bernard Dupont, Luo Boulat, Rémi Forget
  • Patent number: 7788000
    Abstract: The public highway system includes automated, elevated single lane throughways having wide and narrow gauge rail track arranged in various combinations. A control system regulates spacing of bimodal vehicles while maintaining a uniform speed for all vehicles on the system. The bimodal vehicles perform as conventional automobiles on conventional roadways and as fully automated safe high speed vehicles on elevated single lane, single speed, high-density electric rail guideways using static vertical switching accomplished by operation of variable gauge rail wheels on the vehicle to engage with or disengage from a wide gauge track portion wider than the bimodal vehicles. Vehicles enter/leave the mainline on the narrower gauge track. The wider gauge is for passing over off-ramps or in switching systems. A single lane can handle 15,800 veh/hr including mixed use such as mail, freight, mass transit in captive driverless vehicles with exclusive off-ramps to federal, commercial, industrial and public terminals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Inventor: William D. Davis, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7644664
    Abstract: Guide tracks 56, 56 projecting in a vertical direction are provided in a right and left of a running track 50 and left and right guide rollers 20, 21 are provided on a track guided vehicle and guided using inner surfaces of the left and right guide tracks. Branching rollers 22, 23 each comprising elevating and lowering means are provided in the right and left of the track guided vehicle and outside the right and left guide tracks. Thus, branching and rectilinear progression of the track guided vehicle is controlled by switching between a state where the branching rollers 22, 23 are elevated or lowered to guide the track guided vehicle using outer surfaces of the guide tracks 56, 56 and a state where the branching rollers 22, 23 do not contact with the outer surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2010
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takashi Nakao, Tamotsu Shiwaku, Yoichi Nakamura, Isao Fukuda, Ryosuke Tahara
  • Publication number: 20090301342
    Abstract: A guided vehicle transportation system is provided with which toppling down of the vehicle is prevented even when strong lateral external force exerts on the vehicle. The fail-safe mechanism of the system is composed such that a guard rail 31 having a flange 34 extending horizontally at the upper part of each of its vertical guide surfaces for guiding guard wheels 22, 23 provided to the vehicle is laid down on a guide track 3 (depression 10) along the center lone thereof, the vehicle is provided with automatic steering mechanisms 09 and actuators 06 for steering front and rear traveling wheels, and said guard wheels are provided to the vehicle rotatable in a lateral plane and received in the groove of the guard rail 31. A subsidiary guard wheel 33, which is smaller in diameter than that of the guard wheel 22(23), is provided thereon to be rotatable together with the guard wheel 22(23).
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Publication date: December 10, 2009
    Applicant: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shunji Morichika, Katsuaki Morita, Masahiro Yamaguchi, Kosuke Katahira, Yasuhiro Nagamichi
  • Patent number: 7610860
    Abstract: Guide track made up of two wide wing I-shape profiles oriented in parallel and separated by a distance of 500 mm. Central rolling guide box, a set of four vertical axis wheels located at the ends of two steel bars intersecting and forming a cross-shaped device. The assembly is located between two steel plates measuring 700×400×25 mm, forming a box from which the guide wheels protrude laterally to rest tangentially on the web of the guide track profiles. Pivoting anchor cylinder with a dual function: anchoring of the box below the vehicle and transmission of box rotation for orientation of the support wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Movitrade Peninsular, S.L.U.
    Inventor: Roberto Blanco Montejo
  • Patent number: 7562629
    Abstract: A track section (1) having a framework (2) with two hollow profiled structure boxes (3) open at the top, with substantially rectangular or trapezoid cross-section, maintained parallel and connected by cross members (16) which support a rail (17) for guiding the vehicle. The profiled structure boxes are closed by linear plates acting as running track (8) for the wheels of the vehicle. The inner space (7) provides passage for electrical cables powering the vehicle and/or signaling. The factory prefabricated track sections are ready to be laid on an existing road surface or in a trench with simply compacted base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: Lohr Industrie
    Inventors: Robert Lohr, René Donnard
  • Patent number: 7461599
    Abstract: The disclosed is a derailment protection apparatus that may comprise a wheel guiding member or a rail contact member having an inclined surface, a descending device to descend the wheel guiding member or the rail contact member, and wherein the inclined surface comes in contact with a rail, when the descending device operates. The derailment protection apparatus may return a wheel of a rolling stock to be deviated from a rail to a normal position, when the rolling stock with a bogie receives an abnormal vibration due to such as earthquake.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2008
    Inventor: Masato Hachikawa
  • Patent number: 6742458
    Abstract: An electrically powered vehicle transportation system utilizes a guideway with parallel enclosed rails. Each enclosed rail has an electrical bus bar for supplying power to vehicles on the guideway. The guideway will accommodate dual-mode vehicles that are capable of usage on conventional streets as well as on the guideway. The guideway also accommodates conventional vehicles and ferries that operate only on the guideway. The dual-mode vehicle has a body with axles that are extensible. The axles move from a retracted position, with the wheels recessed within the wheel wells, to an extended position. In the extended position, the wheels locate within the enclosed rails. Conventional vehicles and freight are carried on ferries that move along the guideways.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Inventor: J. Kirston Henderson
  • Patent number: 6679535
    Abstract: This invention relates to a safety wheel, for a subway coach bogie, or the like, running on pneumatic tires, adapted to be interposed between a chassis of the bogie and a corresponding tire, said wheel presenting an outer peripheral zone having a braking portion as well as a guiding portion projecting radially outwardly from the braking portion, the hardness of the braking portion being much greater than the hardness of the guiding portion. This may be achieved for example by effecting a selective tempering of the braking portion by peripheral nozzles projecting a cooling liquid. This safety wheel is considerably longer lasting than those of the prior art.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2004
    Assignees: Alstom Holdings, Valdunes
    Inventors: Alain Landrot, François Demilly
  • Publication number: 20030227147
    Abstract: Narrow aisle truck that on each side includes two forwards extending support legs (1, 2), which each are provided with two support wheels (4, 5). The two outer support wheels are displaced somewhat to the rear in relation to the inner ones and in the corner space outside the inner ones and in front of the outer support wheels lateral guide wheels (6) are arranged.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 3, 2003
    Publication date: December 11, 2003
    Inventors: Magnus Alveteg, Mikael Svensson, Rolf Carlund
  • Patent number: 6564721
    Abstract: The rail transport system may generally be an elevated rail system that may be located along existing transportation right of ways such as roads, railroads, rivers, etc. While the system is generally structured for elevated roadways, it may also have surface or ground level elements. The system uses rail sections and rail switch sections having two load rail elements to carry automobile carrier cars and passenger cars. Guide rails are attached to the load rail elements by upstanding guide rail supports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Inventor: Robert L. Stiles
  • Patent number: 6557676
    Abstract: Disclosed is a lock-on device including a member and a grounding pad. A first end of the member is configured to be connected to a guide frame of a rail vehicle. The grounding pad is attached to a second end of the member. The grounding pad may be attached to the member in any location suitable for collecting ground from the guide beam during use. A pair of lock-on devices is installed on the vehicle, such that one is located on each side of the guide beam. Since the lock-on device is attached to the guide frame of the vehicle and engages the underneath of the guide beam, any force tending to tip the vehicle will cause the lock-on device to “grab” the guide beam. The relationship of the guide beam and the grounding pad prevents the vehicle from tipping. Thus, track jumping and roll over are inhibited.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler Rail Systems (Technology)
    Inventor: Robert P. Holuka
  • Patent number: 6477963
    Abstract: A steering apparatus is provided for use on a transit vehicle (10) which includes separate steerable drive tires (45, 50) intended to follow the contour of a guide rail (20). An adjustable linkage (80) transmits the motion of a guide frame (65) following a guide rail (20) to the steerable drive tires (45, 50) and positions the linkage (80) to provide the proper slip angle to the steerable drive tires (45, 50).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Assignee: Bombardier Transportaion GmbH
    Inventors: Christian Weule, Ralf Krause, Jeffrey J. Schwalm, Holger Strubelt, William Cooper
  • Patent number: 6477964
    Abstract: A guide system for a forklift includes a single guide rail extending along a path and rollers mounted on the forklift for engagement with opposite sides of the rail. The rollers can move down the rail as the wheels on the forklift become worn.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Assignee: Tygard Machine and Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Edward Tygard
  • Patent number: 6450103
    Abstract: A monorail system for passenger and light freight transportation provides a support structure with an essentially planar top surface and a stabilizer guide rail having a vertical web portion supporting a head portion. The head guides a vehicle along the top surface while conductors secured to the web portion transmit electrical current to the vehicle through a current collector secured to the vehicle. A portion of the stabilizer guide rail may be flexible providing a simple, inexpensive device for switching the vehicle between a plurality of tracks. The system operates equally well with a variety of vehicle propulsion and suspension systems including electromechanical, magnetic levitation or linear electric motors. In addition, the system may be operated with a semi-maglev system, wherein the vehicle is partially supported by wheels and magnetic levitation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Inventor: Einar Svensson
  • Patent number: 6431082
    Abstract: A guide wheel assembly, which can be preassembled as a single unit, is configured to be connectable to a guide frame of a rail guided vehicle. The guide wheel assembly generally includes a fixed component connectable to the guide frame and a rotating component rotatably supported on the fixed component by a bearing assembly. The elements of the fixed component, the rotating component and the bearing assembly are assembled on a shaft of the fixed component from a top or first end of the shaft. The shaft includes a support member secured at a second end of the shaft and configured to prevent the rotating component from detaching from the fixed component in the event of bearing failure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler AG
    Inventors: Stefan Kummeter, William K. Cooper, Holger Strubelt, Ralf Krause, Jeffrey J. Schwalm
  • Patent number: 6418855
    Abstract: An industrial truck (1) is driven by a friction drive (7) acting on a rail (6). For this purpose, the industrial truck (1) stands on the underlying surface by way of a front steering-roller pair (3) and a rear fixed-roller pair (5) and is kept on track by a guide roller (9) butting against the rail (6). In the region of a curved element (12), the rail (6) has an elevation, with result that there is an increase there in the propulsion force which can be transmitted by a friction wheel (8) of the friction drive (7). An introduction aid (11) allows the guide roller (9) to be aligned without difficulty in relation to the rail (6). The industrial truck (1), rather than being bound to fixed cyclic operation by its friction drive (7), can be specifically accelerated or decelerated. In the event of malfunctioning of the industrial truck (1), the latter can easily be moved manually.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2002
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventor: Dirk Fischer
  • Patent number: 6401625
    Abstract: An electrically powered vehicle transportation system utilizes a guideway with parallel enclosed rails. Each enclosed rail has an electrical bus bar for supplying power to vehicles on the guideway. The guideway will accommodate dual-mode vehicles that are capable of usage on conventional streets as well as on the guideway. The guideway also accommodates conventional vehicles and ferries that operate only on the guideway. The dual-mode vehicle has a body with axles that are extensible. The axles move from a retracted position, with the wheels recessed within the wheel wells, to an extended position. In the extended position, the wheels locate within the enclosed rails. Conventional vehicles and freight are carried on ferries that move along the guideways.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Inventor: J. Kirston Henderson
  • Patent number: 6374748
    Abstract: A guide rail 2 having cables for non-contact power feeding is laid on a floor 22 in a clean room, and the guide rail 2 serves to guide each of guide rollers 60 of a tracking cart 4, and the cable serves to feed electrical power to a pickup coil of a tracking cart 4. This construction gives a tracking cart system that is easy to construct and easy to alter a layout thereof and is structurally compact and intrinsically clean.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Tamotsu Shiwaku, Isamu Matsui, Takashi Nakao
  • Patent number: 6363860
    Abstract: A two-way assembly consisting of a chassis-frame (11) formed by two branches (17) and (18) articulated pivoting about two end pins (21) and (22) each bearing two inclined guide rollers (14) along a rail (8). The chassis-frame (11) is longitudinally movable relative to the road axle (2) for reversing an automatically guided travel direction by the effect of a reversing actuator (15). The chassis-frame (11) can be lifted after the rollers (14) have disengaged from the guide rail (8) by a lifting mechanism acting on the chassis-frame arms. The axle (12) is automatically guided by a subassembly guided (9) by the chassis-frame (11). The guided subassembly (9) capable of being displaced transversely at the rear about a pivot point located in the proximity of the front rollers. The invention is particularly advantageous to manufacturers of rail-mounted road vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Lohr Industrie
    Inventor: Jean-Luc Andre
  • Publication number: 20010037747
    Abstract: A monorail system for passenger and light freight transportation provides a support structure with an essentially planar top surface and a stabilizer guide rail having a vertical web portion supporting a head portion. The head guides a vehicle along the top surface while conductors secured to the web portion transmit electrical current to the vehicle through a current collector secured to the vehicle. A portion of the stabilizer guide rail may be flexible providing a simple, inexpensive device for switching the vehicle between a plurality of tracks. The system operates equally well with a variety of vehicle propulsion and suspension systems including electromechanical, magnetic levitation or linear electric motors. In addition, the system may be operated with a semi-maglev system, wherein the vehicle is partially supported by wheels and magnetic levitation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2001
    Publication date: November 8, 2001
    Inventor: Einar Svensson
  • Patent number: 6308636
    Abstract: An in-vehicle switch mechanism for guiding a vehicle along a guideway at converging and diverging points of the guide rails in a guided vehicle system includes a support frame; a pivot assembly; a switch arm assembly pivotably mounted at its proximate end to the pivot assembly; a switch wheel rotatably mounted to the switch arm assembly at its distal end; an actuator for moving the switch arm between a deployed position in which the switch wheel engages a guide rail and a stowed position in which the switch wheel is free of the guide rail; and a biasing device interconnected between the support frame and pivot assembly for pre-loading the switch wheel against the guide rail when the switch wheel is deployed as the vehicle approaches the point of divergence; and an in-vehicle switch system which uses such in-vehicle switch mechanisms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2001
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: David C. Collins, Albert E. Lewis, Gerald A. Garneau, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6308640
    Abstract: A guidance apparatus is used on a transit vehicle which includes separate steerable drive tires operated by a central guidance platform having four peripherally mounted wheels follow the contour of a guide rail. The guide wheels are spaced above the roadway on a guideway used by the steerable drive tires thereby providing the capability of both on-track and off-track driving of the vehicle. A steering linkage imparts the linkage of a guide plateform to one steerable drive tire and a drag link transmits the rotary motion to the second steerable drive tire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2001
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler AG
    Inventors: Christian Weule, Ralf Krause, Holger Stubelt, Jeffrey J. Schwalm, William K. Cooper
  • Patent number: 6298791
    Abstract: A lateral suspension assembly for a guided vehicle system includes a pair of lateral wheel housings each including a lateral wheel rotatable about spaced vertical axes for engaging spaced opposing guide rails of the guided system; a lateral limit link for limiting outward travel of the lateral wheels beyond a predetermined limit; a pair of spaced support arms pivotably attached at one end to the guided vehicle and at the other to the lateral wheel housings; and a biasing device interconnected with each of the wheel housings for urging the lateral wheels in contact with the guide rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: David C. Collins, Albert E. Lewis, Gerald A. Garneau, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6264330
    Abstract: A camera positioning system comprising a track having two parallel outer rails and a center rail, a self-propelled camera positioning device comprising a chassis configured to support a camera, wheels coupled to the chassis for riding on the outer rails of the track, and a drive unit for propelling the chassis along the track, said drive means comprising at least one roller coupled to the chassis for engaging the center rail of the track, and a motor for rotating said at least one roller against the center rail, thereby positioning the chassis along the track; and a control logic for controlling the drive unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Assignees: Sony Corporation, Sony Pictures Image Works
    Inventors: Barry Walton, Bill Schultz, David Cornelius, Chris Barker
  • Patent number: 6237504
    Abstract: A guideway transit system which can reduce a scale of an infrastructure while maintaining ride comfort for passengers of a vehicle is provided. The guideway transit system includes a noncontact vehicle guiding system and a contact vehicle guiding system. The noncontact vehicle guiding system detects information relating to a lateral position of a vehicle on a road and steers the vehicle to move along a predetermined path on the road based on the detected information. The contact vehicle guiding system which restricts a lateral position of the vehicle by a contact between a guide wheel which laterally projects from the vehicle and a guide wall provided on a side of the road. The guideway transit system further includes a controller which prohibits steering of the vehicle by the noncontact vehicle guiding system when a lateral position of the vehicle is restricted by the contact vehicle guiding system. An automated vehicle which is used in the guideway transit system is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2001
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Toshio Tanahashi, Norihiko Nakamura, Keiji Aoki, Hiromitsu Kimpara
  • Patent number: 6182576
    Abstract: A monorail system for passenger and light freight transportation provides a support structure with an essentially planar top surface and a stabilizer guide rail having a vertical web portion supporting a head portion. The head guides a vehicle along the top surface while conductors secured to the web portion transmit electrical current to the vehicle through a current collector secured to the vehicle. A portion of the stabilizer guide rail may be flexible providing a simple, inexpensive device for switching the vehicle between a plurality of tracks. The system operates equally well with a variety of vehicle propulsion and suspension systems including electro-mechanical, magnetic levitation or linear electric motors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Inventor: Einar Svensson
  • Patent number: 6170403
    Abstract: A boat for spillwater raft rides or similar rides having running gear includes running wheels and lateral guide wheels to accept a force exerted by a portion of the track. A safety device is provided that consists of safety wheels or runners. The latter are located above lateral guide wheels and designed to engage safety rails placed along the line to accept lifting forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2001
    Assignee: Heinrich Mack GmbH & Co.
    Inventor: Georg Behringer
  • Patent number: 6161484
    Abstract: The installation comprises a roadway having at least some segments provided with longitudinal reference marking (10) for a nominal path, and vehicles (18) each carrying an assembly providing guidance by controlling a steering axle, having a module for forming an image of the road ahead of the vehicle (18) and for processing the image of the marking, and an optical guidance module calculating the orientation to be given to the wheels of the steering axle to follow the nominal path, and a steering servo-motor controlled by the guidance module. At at least certain segments of the road carry lateral guides (14, 16) and the vehicles, whose front axles at least are steering axles, are provided on each axle with vertical-axis guide wheels (24) designed to press against the guides (14, 16) in the event of the vehicle departing excessively from a nominal path on the road.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2000
    Assignees: Matra Transport International, Matra Systemes et Information
    Inventors: Daniel Ferbeck, Michel Rebuffet
  • Patent number: 6129028
    Abstract: A mechanism for steering a beam guided vehicle having four steerable wheels linked to a centrally located steering trolley guided by an electrified T-shape beam mounted on a structural roadbed. A trolley flexibly propelled by the vehicle follows the guide beam to actuate the steering of the wheels. The trolley is quickly detachable by drop-pit access for rapid change-out to periodic off vehicle servicing. Two steering arm sensor posts engaging two sockets in the repositioned trolley guarantee interchangeability of standardized repaired units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Inventor: John B. Shaw
  • Patent number: 6029579
    Abstract: The guide system, for a guided road vehicle, having a front directional assembly formed of two pivoting guide arms (2) and (3) which are coupled as well as vertically constrained, each equipped with an inclined guide wheel (12, 13) engaging at least one guide rail on the ground (16). At the rear, a follower-limiter module (47) designed to limit lateral clearance by the axle to a maximum value, in the form of a device following the guide rail, is pivotably attached to the axle (8) and laterally displaceable to a limited extent. The front directional unit and the follower-limiter module (47) are laterally connected to either side of the axle through a lateral temporary immobilizing device (43, 44) which controls change of position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Lohr Industrie
    Inventors: Jean-Luc Andre, Martin Koerber
  • Patent number: 5845581
    Abstract: A monorail system for passenger and light freight transportation provides a support structure with an essentially planar top surface and a stabilizer guide rail having a vertical web portion supporting an upwardly outwardly extending head. The head guides a vehicle along the top surface while conductors secured to the web portion transmit electrical current to the vehicle through a current collector secured to the vehicle. A portion of the stabilizer guide rail may be flexible providing a simple, inexpensive device for switching the vehicle between a plurality of tracks. The system operates equally well with a variety of vehicle propulsion and suspension systems including electro-mechanical, magnetic levitation or linear electric motors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Inventor: Einar Svensson
  • Patent number: 5829357
    Abstract: A guidance system for a vehicle designed to follow a two-way track and having pneumatically tired steered wheels coupled to a directional arm. The system includes a rail with a rolled steel section having a head supported on a web strengthened by a lower foot projecting from each side of the web; the head is bounded laterally by receding inclined lateral faces. A grooved roller follows the rail, and floats at an end of the directional arm of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: Bombardier Eurorail, S.A.
    Inventor: Luc Coppens
  • Patent number: 5704295
    Abstract: An improved automatic guiding arm having a deformable hinged frame like construction controlled by an actuator. The actuator raises and lowers the end of the frame like construction which supports a pair of guide wheels in a "V" shaped arrangement for engaging a guide rail. The axially supported wheels may be mutually pivotable about a transaxial shaft and controlled by an angle control member hinged to the actuator. Through the angle control member the actuator can automatically control the transaxial pivoting and angle of the wheels as well as the tilt of the angle control member during raising and lowering operations of the guide arm. The guide arm is useful for automatically steering public transportation vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1998
    Assignee: Lohr Industrie
    Inventor: Robert Lohr
  • Patent number: 5671680
    Abstract: The invention is a guidance device for a railway vehicle and, more generally, is a guidance device for any track-following vehicle. The guidance device has a guide wheel which is complementary with a substantially circular guide rail, and which is capable of pivoting about the guide rail from rotation about a substantially horizontal axis to rotation about a non-horizontal axis. The guide wheel is pivoted by a pivoting member to which the guide wheel is mounted. The substantially circular guide rail extends parallel to the main rails of the track and is located at least in the area of a bend in the track, e.g., a branch in the track, a curve in the track, or the like. The guide rail is preferably positioned laterally outboard of one of the main rails of the track. The track may additionally comprise a second guide rail which is positioned laterally outboard of the other main rail of the track. In an alternate embodiment, the track may have a single guide rail positioned between the main rails of the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 30, 1997
    Inventor: Anthony Armand DelGreco
  • Patent number: 5647281
    Abstract: A transportation system including a vehicle support structure (21), a vehicle (22) supported thereon, and elongated semi-rigid fin (44) attached to the vehicle (22) and a plurality of drive assemblies (45) positioned along the support structure (21) to frictionally engage and drive the fin (44). The fin (44) is sufficiently rigid for support of compressive loads, for example, in braking and acceleration, without lateral buckling, and moreover, the fin (44) is sufficiently rigid to assist in steering of the vehicle (22). The fin (44) preferably is not a continuous or endless member, but extends several vehicle lengths in front of the vehicle (22) for steering and most preferably several vehicle lengths behind the vehicle (22) for propulsion and braking. A flexible traction belt (86) optionally can be coupled in tandem with the fin (44) to provide an endless loop propulsion system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 15, 1997
    Assignee: Yantrak, LLC
    Inventor: Jan K. Kunczynski
  • Patent number: 5479862
    Abstract: A rail conveyor, including an I-shaped main rail, a trolley guided at the I-shaped rail and having lateral guide rollers, a running wheel rolling on the rail, a counter-wheel and an extra rail for the counter-wheel for increasing frictional engagement of the running wheel with the main rail, the extra rail extending parallel to the main rail, the extra rail being arranged laterally adjacent to the rail, the running wheel and the counter-wheel each having an axle that lies in a plane aligned perpendicular to the longitudinal extension of the main rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 2, 1996
    Assignee: Mannesmann Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Holger Waterkamp
  • Patent number: 5461984
    Abstract: A track traveling system for enabling a two-wheeled vehicle to travel along a single rail of a railroad track has an elongated guide component (18) having vertically spaced apart guidance surfaces (24, 26) and a stabilizer component (20) that has a proximal end (28) releasably couplable to the axle and fork of a bicycle and a distal end (36) that has confronting rollers to movably bear against the vertically spaced apart guidance surfaces (24, 26) whereby the elongated guide component (18) and stabilizer component (20) cooperate to stabilize and guide the two-wheeled vehicle along a single rail of a railroad track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 31, 1995
    Inventor: F. Jay Andress, III
  • Patent number: 5443012
    Abstract: In accordance with the present invention, a playground carriage (10) is provided for moving people (100) from one play area to another. The playground carriage comprises a rotatable support pipe (12) having a first end (14) and a second end (16). The support pipe extends between a first vertical column (18) and a second vertical column (20). A manually-operated crank (22) having a first end (24) and a second end (26) is also included. The manually-operated crank extends between the first vertical column and a third vertical column (48). The first end of the crank is coupled to the first end of the support pipe so that manually turning the crank rotates the support pipe. A carriage (28) for carrying people is mounted to the support pipe. The carriage is advanced along the support pipe by a carrier (30).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 22, 1995
    Assignee: BigToys, Inc.
    Inventors: John M. Underbrink, Russell L. Keeler