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Could small pipes deliver the future of logistics?

British startup Magway believes pipes are the answer to the explosive growth in online shopping and the future of logistics.

With the rise of warehouse prices and lack of suitable spaces, an increasing amount of cars on roads and the pressure for more sustainable delivery options, retail is facing a difficult time.

The company has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to develop a sustainable transport system to move goods through small pipes.

Reminiscent of Elon Musk’s hyperloop technology, Magway will push through vehicles in small-diameter pipes measuring 0.9m, powered by linear motors.

The project has been designed to improve air quality and congestion and plans to require low capital investment.

Magway plans to generate revenues by providing secure goods handling solutions for airports, transforming delivery in urban centres in the UK and expanding internationally.

The startup has already raised  £1m in seed and grant funding, including £650,000 from government initiative Innovate UK, of which tech-forward retailer Ocado was a partner.

The money has been used so far to develop integrated drive technology and two demonstrator tracks at its test facility in North Wembley, London. The startup is currently looking to identify sites for a commercial pilot.

Magway believes a full-scale roll-out of its technology will enable the delivery of 600m parcels and eliminate millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, as well as save money on road maintenance.

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