Profile of the IMTS at EXPO 2005 AICHI, JAPAN

The following is a description of the Intelligent Multimode Transportation System (IMTS) you are going to be riding today.

The IMTS was created with technical assistance from Toyota Motor Corporation, which developed and deployed the vehicles and system. The construction of a dedicated on-site road (the IMTS EXPO Line) and operation of the system were headed by the Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition.

Applying the latest intelligent transport system (ITS) technology, the IMTS is a new transport system allowing unmanned, automatic, and platoon operation on the dedicated road, and manned, independent operation like ordinary buses on ordinary roads. It features the punctuality, high speed, and transportation capacity of conventional railway mass transit systems such as trains as well as the economic merit and flexibility of routed buses. And for passengers, it offers the convenience of not having to make a transfer from a train to a bus.

Major features

1) Vehicle design

Advanced form that gently embraces passengers, inspired by the image of a sprouting bud, with a curved glass cabin affording a panoramic field of vision

2) Vehicle structure

Use of a light-weight but high-hardness carbon composite monocoque bodies

3) Operation

Unmanned automatic operation in platoons (with an attendant riding on the lead vehicle) on the dedicated road and manned manual operation on the ordinary road (on-site road for administrative use) after the last vehicle automatically switches to it.

4) Environmental measures

Mounted with engines fueled with clean compressed natural gas (CNG)

Operation plan

1) Service zones

Automatic operation zone

IMTS dedicated road connecting the North Gate Station, West Gate Station, and EXPO Dome Station, for a total one-way distance of about 1.6 kilometers

Manual operation zone

Administrative on-site road connecting the West Gate Station and the (Morizo& Kiccoro) Convention Hall Bus Stop, for a total distance of about 0.8 kilometers

2) Number of units

13 in all (four platoons consisting of two or three units each)

3) Operating speed

About 30 kilometers per hour at maximum and 20 kilometers per hour on average

4) Terminal-to-terminal traveling time

About 10 minutes (minimum one-way time in the automatic operation zone)

5) Operating interval

Automatic operation zone

About 10 minutes (six platoons per hour)

Manual operation zone

About 40 minutes (one or two platoons every hour)

6) Passenger volume (estimated)

Automatic operation (round-trip)

18,400 people per day

Manual operation zone (round-trip)

1,500 people per day

Outline of the IMTS, a next-generation transportation system

IMTS features

Adjustable capacity

Ability for flexible operation in correspondence with fluctuation in demand due to the platoon operation of units that are not physically linked

High speed and punctuality

Attainment of speeds and punctuality on a par with advanced transport systems due to operation over a dedicated road

Excellent multiple-modality

Achievement of transportation with little transfer due to the dual-mode operation

Route flexibility

Ability to set routes flexibly due to the flexibility in combination of dedicated and ordinary roads and superiority to conventional trains in respect of minimum turning radius and grade-climbing ability

Outstanding economic merit

Substantial savings of construction and maintenance costs due to the lack of need for rails and transformer facilities as well as the compactness of the control system and vehicle terminals; substantial savings of labor and related costs as well due to the unmanned operation over the dedicated road

Outline of the IMTS system

IMTS vehicles are steered and controlled by magnetic markers imbedded in the middle of the dedicated road. High levels of safety and dependability are assured by the automatic speed control and braking functions resting on inter-vehicle communications, ground signal units, and other such devices.

Lane-keeping function

Automatic steering and control based on magnetic markers imbedded in the surface of the road in its center

Platoon operation function

Operation in a file without physical connection (through electronic linkage)

Speed-maintenance function

Automatic control of speed, including stops and starts, in accordance with the operation timetable

Fixed-point stopping function

Sure stopping of each vehicle at fixed points on the platform

Anti-collision function

Automatic braking control by means of inter-vehicle communications, ground signal units, and other devices

Major specifications


Total length x total width x total height (mm) 10,910 x 2,490 x 3,870(including antenna)
Maximum number of passengers 50


Displacement (cc) 10,520 cc
Fuel Compressed natural gas
Maximum output kW(PS)/rpm 169 kW (230 PS)/2100 rpm
Maximum torque Nm(kgm)/rpm 883 Nm (90 kgm)/1100 rpm