A U.K. startup has proposed building a system of tunnels in the U.K. to deliver as many as 600 million packages a year to the city of London alone, according to CNBC. The startup, Magway, wants to provide companies with an alternative to the traditional highway delivery system currently used for most packages in the country.
The system of tunnels would run underground, and potentially deliver packages and even groceries. The tunnels would consist of a series of pipes less than a meter wide, and would transport items on a track powered by a magnetic motor, the same way some roller coasters function.
Magway Co-founder and Commercial Director Phill Davies said the tunnels would be similar to the ones already used by electricity, gas and water companies, and that the system could re-use already existing infrastructure.
Davies has plans for a route from Hatfield, north of London, to Park Royal in west London. The distance would be around 20 miles, a distance that takes about 45 minutes to drive. A package would take about 40 minutes to arrive when traveling along the proposed tunnel, at a speed of about 31 miles per hour.
He noted that this particular route would be ready in about three years. Another proposed route would run 50 miles from Milton Keynes to London, and be able to move about 600 million packages a year.
Magway is proposing the tunnel system in a country where air pollution is expected to continue to cause problems, including 2.4 million cases of illness by the year 2035. In addition, the logistics industry is changing rapidly, with companies trying to figure out new ways to transport goods.
Traffic jams in the country cost $10.3 billion last year, and about $87 billion in the U.S., even as Amazon is preparing its own fleet of self-driving vehicles and drones to deliver packages.