Print this page

Advances: Heathrow, India, Conferences, LAX

October 2010

Each 200 mpg electric personal rapid transit (PRT) vehicle removes 30 cars from the road!

1. London Heathrow ULTra System Moves to Next Phase

States BAA Retail Services Director Hugh Fenn: "On Tuesday Oct 19th 2010 the ULTra PRT system at Heathrow Airport (Heathrow pod) took a step towards revenue service by commencing a live trial involving retail staff from Terminal 5. This is a significant milestone which will help to ensure the system works well when opened to business car park users. It is also a useful indicator as to how PRT operates in a live environment. There have been a number of half day trials with passengers and feedback from passengers has been consistently favorable. During these operational trials, the system has proven reliable and the Independent Safety Verification Team, an industry regulator, has approved ULTra Heathrow for operation." New images (including a purple pod pic) can be found in the "Media & Library" tab, under "Heathrow" and "Press Pictures." [ ]

Thus the ULTra London 'Heathrow pod' system is now the world's first to move to 12-hour-per-day, 7-days-per-week-service, carrying members of the general public (retail staff commuting to work at T5) on unscheduled trips.

2. India is the country currently showing the most PRT interest

One consultant recently counted 18 PRT projects under study in India, including New Delhi. One system concept calls for 3,000 vehicles, 100km of guideway, and 623,000 passenger trips per day. The September 14 Times of India quotes Haryana Province Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda hoping that "Gurgaon will be the first city in India to get" PRT. "A high-tech PPP solution that will address commuters' problems in one shot." PRT seems "to be the best way to take public transport through all the built up areas." "We want the pod taxi facility to connect all commercial and residential complexes in the city. Taking public transport to that point is our aim." "You don't need to depend on rickshaws or taxis to move within the city. This will also be a solution to commuting from Metro stations to the workplace or home."
[ Times of India article: ]

3. 2getthere's Masdar system makes Sept 25 NY Times front page

[ Front page pod pic, architectural plan, article, and slide show: ]

[ Growth unlikely for Masdar PRT: ]

4. Vectus PRT featured in World Business News

"Stockholm is one of several Swedish cities planning to introduce pod cars. The pods are seen as the transport of the future, using next to no energy and yet still boasting the convenience of taxis. But do the futuristic pods have the potential profitability to take off globally?"

[ ]

5. The recent September 21-23 PRT@LHR Heathrow Conference was a huge success

Excerpt of notes from conference attendee Peter Muller of PRT Consulting: "The Conference was opened by John Holland-Kaye, Commercial Director, BAA Airports (Heathrow, etc), who said that the PRT system is obtaining 100% records for reliability. He was excited by the chance to create a new form of technology that will change the way people travel.

Fraser Brown, Head of Travel Services, Heathrow Airport Ltd - BAA, listed numerous advantages of the PRT system including: predictable; reduction in journey times; more than 70% have no waiting; reductions in emissions, noise and congestion; improved office rents, land values & availability as well as road safety. He is looking forward to a future where the passenger needs no local knowledge - they will not need to know where they have to go, just what they want to do. The system should be able to account for congestions, last-minute changes and delays in flight schedules."

[ See ]

6. Register today for Podcar City San Jose, the largest PRT conference ever, October 27-29:

The star-studded conference speaker roster includes:
* Silicon Valley Leadership Group's Carl Guardino
* San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed
* Former Swedish Parliamentarian Hans Lindqvist
* Google's Jeral Poskey
* Caltrans (State Department of Transportation) Deputy Director Martin Tuttle
* California High Speed Rail Authority's Rod Diridon
* Joint Venture: Silicon Valley's Russell Hancock
* Former California State Controller Steve Westly (former eBay EVP)

[ Podcar Conference: ]

[Free Oct 27 IMAX event: ]

7. PRT considered for LAX (Los Angeles Airport)

This summer, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Koretz and Rosendahl passed a motion requesting consideration of ULTra for application "at and around LAX." Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Executive Director Lindsey responded with a glowing report on ULTra and offered that ULTra will be given due consideration when people mover planning proceeds further. This motion arose as an outcome of Councilman Koretz's citizen Transportation Task Force.
[ Read Los Angeles councilmember motion and staff report: ]

8. Calgary Downtown PRT Circulator Sketch

Calgary's downtown is dense with 20 and 30-story buildings, holding 50% of all Calgary jobs. Parking is expensive, upwards of $20 per day. A new planning concept, the downtown PRT circulator, offers many unique benefits:
* enhances the existing LRT system
* re-connects a city split by railroad tracks
* stretches downtown to encompass the Eau Claire area and new pedestrian bridges.
* for PRT near Chinatown, architectural flourishes (red columns, gold accents) will reinforce local design.
[

9. Favorable PRT press coverage is expanding worldwide

Highlights include more New York Times coverage (thrice), ULTra vehicle image on the San Jose Mercury news May 25 front page, BNET - the CBS Interactive Business Network, ABC TV local news, Minnesota State DOT PRT Symposium, new interest in the Raleigh-Durham and Issaquah/Seattle areas, National League of Cities Weekly, and even more news stories from India and London.

City council members can now expect favorable coverage for introducing a cleantech PRT concept in their area. The days of being labeled "Mayor Moonbeam" are past.

"Robocars" have recently been in the news. ULTra and 2getthere are the first commercial roborcar implementations.

10. Special Intersection Magazine offer for the PRT community

A compelling six-page article (Spring 2010 Issue 17) on PRT design is available on-line to the PRT community for a limited time.
[ Read the article - 3MB: ]

Intersection brings design, fashion and culture to life for the modern man. An intimate, inspired, below-the-radar meeting place for arbiters of taste and opinion, it's where diverse paths cross, united by a passion for living fast and traveling far. Intersection looks at how our most personal, treasured machines move us, capturing the spirit of life's journey: on the road, at sea & in the air. The definitive seasonal guide to style in motion, it's where experiences are shared, styles are formed, and ideas accelerated.

Founded in 2001, Intersection is first publication dedicated to style in motion, it guides its readers choice in transportation from A to B whether it's on the road, in the air or at sea. Each issue offers a seasonal, progressive viewpoint on fashion, design, culture and innovation.

Subscriptions are $9.99 per year / $15 for two years. [To subscribe: ]