Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Urban Light Transportation!

:: PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) provides on-demand driverless travel using its own guideway network!
++ Environ Tech: Martin Lowson / Advanced Transport Systems, Ltd.

ULTra (Urban Light Transportation) offers an advanced form of PRT, giving effective, low cost and sustainable transport for cities, airports and special developments worldwide.

ULTra is an innovative form of Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system. ULTra (Urban Light Transport) emerged from a fundamental reappraisal of the transport needs of a city. It is designed to meet the expectations of passengers - convenient, inexpensive, reliable, safe and easy to use, while also satisfying public demands for value for money, ease of construction and environmental benefit.

Conventional forms of public transit require passengers to collect in groups until a large vehicle is scheduled to travel on predetermined routes. In contrast, ULTra offers personal transport with no waiting, and takes passengers non-stop to their chosen destination. This is a transport system which is as convenient as, or in congested environments more convenient than, the car, but with minimal environmental impact.
Note from Technophile: The passenger uses the system by going to the nearest station on the network. Stations are distributed around the area served like bus stops or cab ranks. At each station there are a series of berths at each of which the passenger can select their desired destination. This is done via a smart card process. Because each passenger can be identified by their smart card the service can be personalised to respond to any special requirements of the passenger. The passenger destination selection is passed to central control which provides movement instructions to the vehicle assigned to the berth. The passenger boards the programmed vehicle which takes them to their desired destination automatically, non-stop and by the best available route. At the destination the passenger leaves the vehicle, which may either wait there for the next fare or, alternatively, be redirected by central control to places with known demand. Four out of 5 passengers will have no wait. The rest will have less than a minute to wait. It doesn't get much better than that!
:: Source: [Beyond Tomorrow]
:: Innovation: A revolution in personal transportation!
:: Available: The first paying passengers before the end of 2006.
:: Cost: Over £15 million and 50 man years of design effort.
:: Speed: 45kph (25mph).

6 Comments:

Anonymous John Denver said...

PRT systems concept is over 40+ years old. The most notable implementation is the autonomous vehicle, 20+ miles of guideway, hundreds of destination points, thousands of vehicle Denver Airport Luggage Handling System.

After 15 years and hundreds of millions of dollars United Airlines shut it down.
The luggage eater had cost about a million/month in costs and never worked
spawning many studies comparing it to the ill-fated air traffic control systems and the FBI computer cockups.

As a final insult United Airlines dumped 186 million USD of debt run up by the Suitcase PRT in December 2005 onto the public by threatening to "de-hub" Denver Airport.

As a result PRT is discredited.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Extremetech said...

The concept may be over 40 years old, the technology involved with the ULTra system is not. If you follow the links on my post you will find the technology to be most impressive.

And I'm not the only one impressed. ULTra has been endorsed by leading City Planners in both the UK and the US. And the Heathrow Airport will be spending millions of dollars over the next ten years (they obviously are impressed), and they are doing this because they expect the ULTra system to save them money.

Just because a luggage handling system at the Denver Airport failed doesn't mean that a people handling system at Heathrow Airport (the world's busiest Airport) will fail also.

They're completely different systems (even though the might both be referred to as PRT), and different technologies.

The ULTra system has been tested for two years and has performed flawlessly.

Pesonally, I like the ULTra system. Their cars run on batteries, so they're non polluting, the rail is half the width of a city bus, and they're even planning on using solar energy to charge the batteries.

I wish them luck!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Avidor said...

ULTra is nothing new... How you can get excited about a battery-powered golf cart bouncing slowly along a cement path?


Learn more about the PRT scam at the PRT is a Joke web site.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Extremetech said...

To say ULTra is "nothing new" is not accurate, it is brand new (and in the testing stage). It's the PRT concept that is not new.

To say I'm "excited" about it is not accurate, I'm just interested in the technology. (I'm interested in any technolgy that trys to improve life by solving problems.)

To say the ULTra is a "battery-powered golf cart" is also not accurate (it is just not a good comparison). I'm also interested in advances in battery technology, and anything that is powered by batteries (as opposed to petro-chemicals).

To say it bounces "along a cement path" is also not accurate. A lot of technology has gone into insuring a "smooth" ride.

The film crew from "Beyond Tommorow" visited the ULTra test facility, and they were impressed enough to do a segment on it that was broadcast worldwide (I watched it).

I don't believe that the world's largest airport is going to invest millions of dollars on "fake" technology as is claimed in the article that you linked to.

I also don't believe that the airport executives and the city planners that are investing in the technology are stupid (though I might be wrong).

I don't do a post without doing research. My research has shown that ULTra is serious technology backed by serious money, and is being designed and built by a serious company to try to solve serious problems.

Again, I wish them luck.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous A Transportation Enthusiast said...

Don't bother trying to convince Avidor or "John Denver". These are well known anti-PRT extremists that spend all their free time hunting down PRT discussions and inserting links to their rabid, anti-PRT propaganda.

Just picture Pat Robertson at a gay rights rally. That's Avidor and his extremist buddies in a PRT discussion.

If you want the real story on PRT, see the Wikipedia article.

By the way, just so you know, Avidor will now post the rest of his propaganda spiel, along with some links that attempt to discredit me. But my credibility is irrelevant, because I don't expect anyone to believe me anyway -- research PRT for yourselves and you'll find Avidor's claims to be completely groundless.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Genetico said...

It is more like a horizontal elevator than a car or golf cart.
It just needs more speed to be of use anywhere but airports.

1:21 PM  

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