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Old October 9th, 2004, 09:58 AM   #41
Mongo8780
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine
In one of the previous posts in this thread, a link is provided to the remarkable website of an organization called Light Rail Now!. If you read the Light Rail Now! article on PRT, you will see that:

1. The West Virginia University (WVU) PRT carries 16,000 riders per day when school is in session. (Actually, Light Rail Now! neglects to report this fact.)
2. The WVU PRT covers its own operating expenses.
3. The WVU PRT extends for 3.6 miles.
4. The cost to build the WVU PRT in current dollars is $89 million per mile for a fully grade separated route.
5. The WVU PRT is a FAILURE!

Light Rail Now! has also blessed us with an article concerning the new streetcar system in Tacoma, Washington. If you read the article, you will find:

1. The Tacoma streetcar carries 2,170 riders per day.
2. The Tacoma streetcar collects no fares and covers none of its operating expenses.
3. The Tacoma streetcar extends for 1.6 miles.
4. The Tacoma streetcar cost approximately $50 million per mile to build for a route that sits in the middle of a downtown street.
5. The Tacoma streetcar is a SUCCESS!

So, the WVU PRT is a failure and the Tacoma streetcar is a success. Go figure!

I know most of us here only consider it a success because it greatly exceeded ridership projections. Of course, Sound Transit used this "success" as reason to build a crappy light rail system here in Seattle that won't really go anywhere.
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Old October 9th, 2004, 11:21 AM   #42
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I never was a fan of PRT. It always seemed like a pie in the sky dream, that has no application in the real world. I can't think of one city that has seriously implemented a PRT system. That's not to say there are no PRT systems...I mean there was this one college town (can't remember name) that implement a limited PRT system but the project was so costly that it ended up being a white elephant.
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Old October 9th, 2004, 06:00 PM   #43
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light rail shares the road with road traffic and can be very space consuming in areas where land is needed. but light rail isnt bad for cities with low density like melebourne
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Old October 10th, 2004, 02:35 AM   #44
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Wvu Prt

Many PRT advocates refer to the West Virginia University (WVU) PRT as a Group Rapid Transit (GRT) or Automated Guideway Transport (AGT) rather than a true PRT system. It does share the characteristic of PRT that riders can program their own destination and skip intermediate stops; however, the cars are much larger than those featured in most PRT concept designs. The WVU cars can seat eight and can accommodate several more riders standing. Most PRT concept designs can accommodate no more than four passengers. I guess a family of five would be out of luck.

The following are some pictures of the WVU system:















The plaque reads, "In honor of, Earle T. Andrews, Board of Regents, 1969 – 1979, In Appreciation of his Dedication and Leadership in the Development of West Virginia University’s Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), the World’s First Automated Urban Transportation System, October 15, 1993, College of Engineering".


The following is an article on the system from the "Progressive Engineer":

http://www.progressiveengineer.com/P...2002-2/PRT.htm

Still in a Class of Its Own

Since the 1970s, Morgantown's Personal Rapid Transit system has shuttled millions of students between campuses at West Virginia University. It still ranks as a model computerized mass transit system.

By Tom Gibson

After exiting Interstate-68 and driving into Morgantown, West Virginia, it doesn't take long to get a feel for the area's unique terrain. The Monongahela River snakes through town, and that's about the only flat feature. Rugged hills rise from the river banks, and streets wind through them taking convoluted paths.

I make my way to the Friend's Inn between West Virginia University's Evansdale Campus and Medical Center Campus, both on a plateau overlooking Morgantown and the river. Morgantown's Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system passes in front of the hotel, offering a strange juxtaposition. The track and steel structure are rusty and drab, the concrete discolored and streaked, each showing years of use. But then, colorful and modern-looking blue and yellow cars, each the size of a small delivery van, cruise by silently. They have no drivers (and sometimes no passengers) in them.

Over a quarter century old, the PRT system ranks as the first fully-automated rapid transit system in the world. Amazingly, in an age where mass transit systems advance in technology about as slowly as airplanes (we still fly B-52s), it's still on the cutting edge. The computerized system connects downtown Morgantown and WVU's main downtown campus with the Evansdale Campus and the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Campus, providing transportation for WVU's 19,000 students and 7500 employees as well as community residents. In the process, it helps tame the hilly terrain.

Expansion Brings Traffic
As Bob Hendershot, systems engineering manager for the PRT system, tells it, the original idea for the system came from Dr. Sammy Elias, then-chairman of WVU's industrial engineering department. "By the late 1960s, this university had gone through a growth spurt," Hendershot relates. It originally had been located entirely downtown, but increasing enrollment dictated expanding to the Evansdale Campus, about a mile from the main campus. Several new buildings, such as the college of engineering, college of creative arts, and college of agriculture and forestry took shape there along with a large dormitory complex, and the medical center complex was built further up the hill. "Great idea, but the terrain of Morgantown and having only two roads connecting these two areas brought severe traffic problems."

WVU operated buses to shuttle students back and forth, but this only made matters worse. Jim Hatcher, systems programmer and computer engineer for the PRT system, recalls, "In the early 70s, we would actually achieve total gridlock." Hendershot adds, "At one point, the university had to not allow students to take classes at different campuses. Even in a 20-minute class change, there was no way to get to class on time."

Although an industrial engineer, Elias was more of a transportation specialist and had an interest in fully-automated transit systems. He garnered a Housing and Urban Development grant in 1969 to study the feasibility study of a system connecting the campuses. The Department of Transportation established the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) in 1970 with a mission to explore, implement, and demonstrate new technology in transportation. Hendershot says, "Having already taken steps in this area, WVU wound up being in the right place at the right time." WVU secured a grant from UMTA to continue studying the concept and accept formal proposals for it. Several major companies submitted them.

Then came real paydirt. WVU got a grant to implement a system as a research demonstration project, being selected over other proposals largely because "a college campus was a good location to demonstrate a system like this," as Hendershot explains. "We have a captive audience. We require the students to use the system to get back and forth. We wound up having peak periods of demand every hour versus seven in the morning and five in the evening like in a city. Morgantown has the extremes of environment to test the system, from warm summers to winters with extreme cold. It's hilly area around here. The system experiences pretty much all the demands that can be placed on it. We were judged a very good test bed for a system."

Hendershot says the system mushroomed from its original design and cost estimates. "Every conceivable thing was put into it. The biggest improvement was the onboard switching capability of our vehicles, which allows stations to be bypassed. This allows direct origin-to-destination travel."

They selected a proposal submitted by Alden Self Transit, a small company in Boston. This was for a small circular test track and one vehicle, but it was the one system that featured the onboard switching capability, which formed the crux of what became known as personal rapid transit. Alden wasn't established well enough to carry out such a large-scale project, so contracts for system design went to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). But JPL became more enamored with projects like sending a man to the moon, and they decided not to pursue it. Boeing Aerospace Company came along and obtained rights from Alden, taking over design of the system. Frederick R. Harris, a civil and transportation engineering firm in Fairfax, Virginia, served as the prime contractor for the guideway and stations. The project was built in two phases, the first coming on line in 1975 and the second in 1979.

Five stations comprise the PRT system, with the Walnut Street station at the downtown end and the Medical Center station at the other end and Beechurst, Engineering, and Towers stations in between. The circuitous guideway covers 3.6 miles between the two end stations.

Smooth and Easy
After walking a quarter mile to the Medical Center station, I embarked on a ride to the Walnut Street station downtown in search of dinner. Even as a neophyte, I found the system easy to use; you climb or descend stairs to a loading platform, insert coins in a turnstile, punch a button for the station you want, go to a loading gate, and follow directions on a sign overhead. All trips cost 50 cents for the uninitiated, but locals swipe a pass card through the machine. Soon, a car rolls into the station and eases to a stop.

My vehicle passes the Evansdale campus and then heads down a 10% grade toward the Monongahela River. Riding in a concrete trough this steep gave the feeling of riding on a luge track without the banks. After 15 minutes, I arrive at the Walnut Street station and then proceed to High Street, the main street in the business district.

Later, Jim Hatcher showed me the nerve center where computers control the system. Three people sat at control panels working in a deliberate, almost casual fashion. "This is the way we like to see it," Hatcher remarks. He explains that they operate in a form of the hours-of-boredom-interrupted-by-a-few-minutes-of-sheer-excitement mode. A lighted overhead schematic diagram shows locations of cars in the system. They were watching customers on closed-circuit TV cameras. "Our concern is not security. Our prime concern is safety." They watch for people getting into the guideway and in harm's way. They can stop a car in the area if something happens.

Ongoing Engineering Work
You might think all this is a product of the modern microprocessor age. But Hendershot says that though the system has changed since it was first built, "it hasn't to the extent one might think." For example, "Three years ago we upgraded our computer control system, but not because it didn't work. Up until 1997 or 1998, we operated with computer equipment that was installed back in 1971 and was still doing the job as it should. Maintainability was our only problem with it -- being able to buy spare parts. We have modernized a lot of the equipment over the years, but the system itself operates almost in identical fashion to when it was first installed."

"I've been here almost since day one," Hendershot reveals in detailing his history with the PRT system. He came to WVU in 1972 to get his master's degree after getting a B.S. from Ohio State in industrial engineering. "I really wasn't aiming toward a career in the transportation field." After receiving a graduate assistantship to research the software aspects of the system, "I got very interested in it. I worked here initially during the test and checkout of the software, and I've worked on every aspect of the system since then."

Besides Hendershot and Hatcher, the technical PRT staff includes a mechanical and civil engineer, two electrical engineers, and a host of technicians. Many have put in 20-plus years, resulting in a deep base of knowledge. "I think one reason people stay is that we're challenged by all the problems you could possibly imagine. You're never bored with doing the same task over and over. It really goes the full gamut," Hendershot says. Hatcher reinforces that: "This is a machine that's eight miles long and has thousands of parts. It's like a big video game."

The PRT staff usually has a few major engineering projects in progress, and they like to involve WVU engineering students in them. They assign year-long senior design projects to groups of three or four students, and graduate research assistants also work on various aspects of the system.

So how well has the PRT system worked as a research and demonstration project? When school is in session, 55 vehicles transport about 16,000 passengers a day, resulting in the system's 73 vehicles traveling about 1.56 million miles a year. With such a prolific track record, Hendershot says outsiders come in to see the system "all the time." They're mostly from cities and colleges that started with one metropolitan campus and expanded. "This type of system is really good for certain applications."

Some transportation experts don't consider the system truly PRT since the vehicles carry many people, and not all rides are non-stop from origin to destination. They label it a Group Rapid Transit system but also point out that it's the closest to a true PRT system the U.S. has seen.

In driving through Morgantown, traffic bustles in town, and it seems to have the same congestion problems as other thriving communities. But Hatcher says traffic has improved with the PRT system. "It has really helped traffic much more than the local people understand." He knows it would be a lot worse without the blue and yellow cars shuttling back and forth between campuses smoothly over the rugged terrain, as they have since the mid 1970s. It's only a matter of time until other colleges and towns copy the system.

Technical Lowdown on the PRT System
The system has 8.65 miles of guideway, which consists of a concrete running surface with sides on it. Cars travel both ways along a parallel set of tracks, turning around on loops at the ends of the track or at the stations in the middle. The guideway goes overhead on concrete piers about 20 feet high.

The vehicles run off 575-volt AC three-phase power, rectified and controlled to power the 70-horsepower DC motor that drives the rear wheels of each vehicle. A power collector mounted on the front wheel spindle of the vehicle rides on a power rail running along the guideway. Power is transferred by sprung sintered carbon/copper brushes.

Each car can carry eight seated and 12 standing passengers. Average speed of the vehicles is 14 mph, and top speed is 30 mph.

Every vehicle has a guide wheel on each side. A wheel on one side follows a guide rail in the guideway; the wheels are oversteered a half degree so they follow that side in a concept known as curb following. Both front and rear wheels steer. The steering is switched from one side to the other hydraulically to steer the vehicle. Having no physical connection with the guideway allows onboard switching, meaning when it comes to an intersection, the vehicle can follow one of two paths without the guideway itself having to physically switch and guide the vehicle.

The central control room has dual computers that automatically send cars to stations where they're needed and otherwise control them. System operators control the system during initialization, failure, or shutdown, but at other times, they merely monitor operation. Onboard vehicle computers receive instructions through two antennae by means of frequency shift key digital signals sent through inductive wire loops embedded in the guideway surface. An odometer and tachometer in each vehicle measure distance traveled and speed, supplying data to the computers. A control unit controls brakes, steering, doors, and propulsion. Four-wheel disc brakes on the vehicles are hydraulically operated in response to input commands.

By day, or in periods of high passenger demand, the system operates in demand mode, with vehicles dispatched in response to passenger requests. At night, or in periods of low demand, the system operates in schedule mode, with vehicles dispatched on a preset schedule. Vehicles are assigned to groups of passengers based on the number of people waiting for a particular destination and the length of time they've been waiting.

Each station houses control and communications equipment, including dual computers, required for controlling vehicle operations within the station area.

The guideway surface is heated in winter to remove snow and ice so vehicle tires don't slip. This can cause a collision, and wheel slippage can throw off the tachometer pulses that indicate the vehicle's speed. A heated water-propylene-glycol solution circulates through pipes embedded in the running surface. Four boiler plants along the route supply pressurized fluid using a system of pumps and expansion tanks charged with nitrogen.

Last edited by greg_christine; October 10th, 2004 at 02:49 AM.
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Old November 5th, 2004, 07:38 AM   #45
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Morgantown GRT System

Steve Raney and Stan Young will be (separately) speaking at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) meeting in Washington DC on the subject of Morgantown transit this January. People with an interest in promoting more advanced systems than buses and light rail might be interested in joining the Advanced Transit Association. Our web site is at http://www.advancedtransit.org/.
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Old November 6th, 2004, 07:03 PM   #46
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Cardiff's ULTra system is still on track - the actual vehicles are being manufactured already and the route is currently being cleared



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Old December 18th, 2004, 09:13 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine
Many PRT advocates refer to the West Virginia University (WVU) PRT as a Group Rapid Transit (GRT) or Automated Guideway Transport (AGT) rather than a true PRT system. It does share the characteristic of PRT that riders can program their own destination and skip intermediate stops; however, the cars are much larger than those featured in most PRT concept designs. The WVU cars can seat eight and can accommodate several more riders standing. Most PRT concept designs can accommodate no more than four passengers. I guess a family of five would be out of luck.
After reading up on the pros and cons, I've decided I'm in the pro camp. I think the idea of seating just three or four is a good idea. Okay, a family of five would have to split up and use two cabs, but on the other hand, if the cabs are big, it just means them being emptier most of the time. With the WVU system, it probably doesn't matter much, because there are only a few stations, and students on a campus move around in groups a lot, anyway, but in a citywide network, with dozens or hundreds of stations, a commuter will not want to wait around for nine other people going in the same direction, just in order to fill the cab. That's what scheduled trains and buses force people to do. Why are you stuck standing in the rain waiting for a train or a bus? Because the operator doesn't want to drive it empty, so they give passengers enough time to build up in numbers. Even then, they are nearly empty most of the time. So there's a benefit to building the cabs small. On top of that, the bigger you build the cabs, the more expensive the guideway gets, so you wind up wasting money on unnecessary infrastructure, as well. It looks as if that did happen to the WVU system. The guideway is huge, partly because the vehicles are bigger than they need to be, and partly because it uses air cushion technology, which was cool at the time, but doesn't have anything to do with PRT as such.

PRT is like a taxi where the driver knows the way, doesn't get stuck in traffic, and doesn't lie to the operator about his whereabouts. In fact, it doesn't have a driver, so once it is up and running, it's cheaper even than a bus. (That's the claim, and when I look at the detail behind it, I find it to be a credible claim.) All previous attempts to build a PRT system (with the partial exception of WVU) have been shot down by politicians for non-technical reasons before they could go live - in some cases at the very last minute. But one will be built soon. Either the Cardiff one, or another one at Heathrow airport will be the first full implementation of the PRT concept to see active service outside a test track. That will be the real test - the test that lightrailnow dreads should ever happen. If it fulfills even half its promise, it will cause a revolution in transit. If it fulfills all its promise, private cars (for most journeys, for most people), as well as buses and trains will be obsolete within a few years (maybe superfast long distance trains will still have a role, but I wouldn't bet my horse on it).
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Old July 6th, 2005, 04:08 PM   #48
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Pardon me for resuscitating such an old thread, but...

I did want to make a couple of observations on PRT. And by PRT, I am refering to individual vehicles with a dispersed destination pattern, NOT peoplemovers like in airports or horizontal elevators.

I think there are thre major problems with PRT systems. First, there is always going to be a security/safety issue. Too small a vehicle with only a few people in a car is goign to definitely be a source of violent crimes. It will also mean an awful lot of vandalism. I know you can use cameras and such - but that has not yet proved to be effective in any other case, I don't see it being a true deterrent here, either.

Secondly, it's too complicated. To really be an effective replacement for the automobile you would need to service a wide number of scattered stations. This gets really complicated really fast. You need to fund a huge number of vehicles, and also a large number of stations which may get very little use. All those vehicles and number of tracks and stations means a lot of maintenance. And when something goes wrong with the system as a whole, you are stuck.

Lastly, it also misses out on the whole economy of mass transit to begin with - economy of scale. Mass Transit works because it is a standard set of compromises - fewer destination points and traveling together. Where is the major gain in efficiency, besides vehicle standardization (which would actually work against acceptance)?

Lastly,
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Old July 7th, 2005, 05:39 PM   #49
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What happens when two lines intersect? That means having double the height of the guideway.........much more pricy.
What is there are 4 people on the cab and they all want to get off at different stations?.............slow, especially when loading/off-loading.
Not wheelchair accessible.
They can go down the middle of the road but what about intersections where cars/truck have too cross it at every street? Again it would need a very high height guideway, more money. It would therefore have to be 4 stories above ground where two cab lines converge at an intersection. I wouldn't want to climb 4 stories to say nothing of the elderly or young kids, baby carriage, with groceries, luggage, napsacks.
What about cars/trucks making left hand turns....again would have to be elevated to.
higher heights.
What about road maintenance and snow clearing costs? How would you snowplow around the stations?
How would they avoid overhead wires? Again more height, more cost.
How would people get to these little stions? Public transit which means public transit would be subsidizing private transit.
What is everyone on the next 10 cabs doesn't want to get off at your station...you end up waiting forever in a cab that may only have room for four or five people with 8 at the station. Thats means they may have to wait for a couple more cabs til one gets to their station for drop off but now there are 10 people waiting at the station and so on......
What if the pylons down the road to support the guideway conflict with sewer or underground electrical lines?
What about waiting in the rain? They can't stand on the station floor because people get off there........more money for shelters.
This to say nothing of the fact that not everyone would want one down their street blocking traffic, shrinking sidewalk length and parking.
Also it takes forever just to get business/home owners/planning depts to agree on regular transit use with committees.....can you imagine the amount of time it would take to get the regulatory plans to pass which assumes everyone around the line and stations agree to it which is between zero and nil.
The only way this could even make some sence if down a cab-only road much like a bus rapid transit totally street and intersection free and then if you build that you might as well just build a bus road with with stations.
This thing would have to be atleast two stories of the ground and the stations would have to be in the middle of the road to say nothing of having to board the cabs in the middle of the road. I wouldn't want to wait for a cab in the middle of the road.
Its a pie in the sky idea that simply looks good but the logistics are impossible to deal with.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 06:03 PM   #50
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I read that Heathrow airport is looking at investigating a PRT system to integrate the various hotels and staff and long term parking sites to the various terminals. This would enable them to replace the dozens of shuttles buses that connect all the various sites around the airport.

This is to reduce vehicle emmissions in the area so they can build a third runway.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 10:03 AM   #51
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It won't work. The stations they're proposing aren't wheelchair accessible, thus this required component will increase their bulkiness. The only way I see this working is as feeder lines to subway stations in suburbia. However, this is achieved easier, by building parking lots at stations.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 11:45 PM   #52
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If Heathrow does go ahead with the system it is designed to replace the large fleets of buses that shuttle between the large hotels and various large employee and long term car parks. Not including airport and office park car parks, Heathrow has about 38,000 car park spaces the majority of which are connected by shuttle buses. These won't be little shuttles but probably like existing airport shuttle trains. The exception being to a convential light rail network with trains linking all the sites in one big long line. One shuttle might going to Northside staff car park, or purple parking, the A4 airport hotels or any number of sites. These would free capacity on the congested airport roads and reduce passenger anxiety about reaching the terminals.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 01:20 AM   #53
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I found an interesting project. Now first off I'm not Korean and don't live there, so from what i read when flipping through the Korean forums and doing my own research that Seoul is supposed to get something like the rest of the P.R.Ts. I guess it's called SkyTaxi and it's going in one of Seoul's main business districts. Gangnam I think it was.... Anyways I found a picture and a real "SkyTaxi" built buy one of Posco's subsibaries on a test track somewhere in Korea. The one built buy Posco was a different prototype trying to make it's way into the market. The SkyTaxi though is a different project.... I guess there really happening....

I guess since Seoul has probably one of the world's if not the world's worst traffic problems, that this will suit them perfectly...

..Also from what I have read, Gangnam is also building a monorail and also this P.R.T stuff.. There's going to be no use for cars, my goodness... But they are both separate projects.. The posco (Postech) prototype does not have any plans yet to where they might build... Maybe Daegu or something..


SkyTaxi ( SkyCab )











..The last three pics are just old rough sketches. There are newer ones and diagrams and such, but I just couldn't find the website...

Skycar is a Korean entry into the Personal Rapid Transit technology race. It is being developed by a Korean company called Woo Bo Enterprise Co., Ltd, located in Seoul, Korea. This infopage is based on a brochure recently produced by Woo Bo that is written in Korean. Little is currently known about the state of development of Skycar, but it is known that the company is actively seeking funds for engineering and testing. Work on Skycar began in 1992 and several feasibility studies for specific sites in Korea have been conducted. It appears that the Skycar PRT concept is very similar to the American TAXI 2000 PRT concept with some important differences in the design of the guideway and in the use of an electromagnetic switch instead of a mechanical switch. Other differences will be revealed after patents have been obtained.
According to the Woo Bo brochure, the system would feature 3-passenger vehicles, a linear motor, and guidewheels for stabilization and steering. The guideway is a "U" shaped steel structure with integrated power supply, signal, communication, steering and control equipment. Performance is stated to be a minimum headway of 1/2 second, maximum capacity of 7,200 vehicles per hour, average capacity of 6,000 vph, maximum passenger capacity of 18,000 persons per hour and average capacity of 9,000 persons per hour (at an average occupancy of 1.5 persons per vehicle). Average speeds are expected to range from 45-60 kph. A propulsion system development study and a control/communication system development study were performed by an outside company in 1994. Woo Bo formed an adjunct Transportation and Urban Research Institute in 1992 to assist the further development of the Skycar concept.

..Another company in Korea is working on the same prototype or something like that... Not really sure...

The Posco Prototype



PRT Test operating in a 40m test track, PIRL, POSTECH, Pohang

Last edited by MoneyBags; July 9th, 2005 at 01:31 AM.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 01:20 AM   #54
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nah, I don't want that PRT in Seattle, it would create a mass grid of guideways and all that, I think it's better for small and low destiny towns. I would rather stick with monorail, light rail or subway, or even buses. They look like toy cars on flimsy guideways.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 03:16 AM   #55
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I also have to say, I wouldn't trust them in a earthquake. SkyTrains are large and the pillons massive and are built to withstand huge eartquakes, I can't see how these would.
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Old November 17th, 2005, 07:42 PM   #56
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BAA sees future in electric driverless taxis

BAA sees future in electric driverless taxis
By Colin Holland
November 2005




LONDON — Within a few years passengers at Heathrow Airport could be whisked from passenger car parks to terminals in futuristic driverless taxis. The technology behind these four-seater computer-controlled vehicles has been developed by Bristol University spin-out company Advanced Transport Systems (ATS).

The ATS ULTra Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system has been chosen by the British Airports Authority to improve access to its terminals at Heathrow. The agreement also includes an investment of £7.5million in ATS by BAA in return for 25% of the equity. The investment has been organised with help from ICON Corporate Finance which acts for technology, communications and media companies advising them on raising venture capital, exits, acquisitions, MBOs and private placings.

The prototype ULTra system has been under development since 1999, with Government support from the Department of Transport, the Department of Trade and Industry, NESTA, and the EC. The prototype system was given consent by HM Rail Inspectorate to carry passengers in 2003.



ATS is to provide the system of driverless taxis and dedicated infrastructure in a year long trial at Heathrow, which if successful will be rolled out to the all terminals as well as other airports. The best location for the pilot scheme is currently under review.

ULTra offers a new form of public transport, one that waits for the passenger rather than the passenger waiting for it. This is a new solution to the problems of urban transport, but one that uses off the shelf technology.

ULTra it said to save more than half of the fuel used by existing forms of public or private transport.

ATS was set up in 1995 and has been funded to date by a mixture of internal funding and contract funding from both Government and customers, together with significant 'in-kind' support from major industrial partners. The work has been supported by the Department for Transport, the Department for Trade and Industry, NESTA and the EC.

The ULTra system uses a fleet of low power, electrically driven vehicles on a dedicated guideway network of routes. The operation of the system and movement of the vehicles on the network is managed by software and systems developed by ATS.

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Old November 17th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #57
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BBC NEWS VIDEO CLICK HERE
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Old November 17th, 2005, 08:11 PM   #58
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This is interesting.

As long as you are destination is on a major thoroughfare, you can get door to door service. With a pool of these waiting for you at each major depot like a town center or subway stop. It would be practical to start in the smaller more compact cities they mentioned.

Neat!
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Old November 17th, 2005, 09:25 PM   #59
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Here's the manufacturer's website: http://www.atsltd.co.uk/

And it's not at all new: Since at least 1965, people are proposing systems like that. Here's a gallery: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/news_eve...cs/prt/14.html
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Old November 18th, 2005, 06:59 PM   #60
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How fast will it be?
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