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Old June 2nd, 2010, 01:17 AM   #241
steveraneyC21
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PRT industry momentum: Heathrow, Masdar, India, etc.

SUMMARY: London Heathrow PRT opens this summer. New first-look Masdar PRT video. PRT passenger capacity world record. Mountain View City Council PRT resolution. Indian government officials praise PRT for Gurgaon. Tysons Corner PRT transformation envisioned. Portland new urbanist AmberGlen specific plan includes PRT.

1. ULTra PRT for London Heathrow Airport on-schedule for historic Summer 2010 start

This summer, the London Heathrow ULTra system will become the world's first PRT system to enter revenue service. Commissioning activities at London Heathrow continue with "passenger trails and proving out the system in various scenarios: large influxes of passengers, emergency scenarios, and non-standard use cases where passengers have special needs or seek to use the ULTra system in an unexpected manner. This comprehensive test program will ensure that the ULTra system provides a reliable, user-friendly, high-quality service from the very first day of public operation." http://www.ultraprt.net/

2. New video of 2getthere Masdar (Abu Dhabi) ecocity PRT

5-minute video by NYU students provides extensive footage of the 2getthere vehicle (inside with passenger controls, moving, etc), covers magnet-in-the-road control system, broaches technical concerns by CH2M Hill Transportation Program Manager. ULTra and Vectus footage is mixed in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UMvj...yer_embedded#!

Meanwhile, there are some hints that Masdar's PRT system is having a bit of trouble. "The PRT pods were all the rage as recently as January. But a few months later, Masdar officials took a step back from that promise. 'We need to look at whether it works,' said Fares Ghneim, Masdar's chief of communications." NY Times article. http://tinyurl.com/2cp9m4e

3. PRT passenger capacity world record

In March of 2010, ULTra PRT demonstrated 48 passengers departing from the four-berth London Heathrow (LHR) Terminal 5 multi-story car park (MSCP5) station in 5 minutes, for a world-record hourly PRT outbound station capacity of 576 passengers per hour. http://www.ultraprt.net/



4. Mountain View: first US PRT council resolution

The City Council of Mountain View, California, became the first US city to pass a PRT resolution. The resolution "supports the general concept of a PRT system in Mountain View." As motivation for supporting PRT, Mountain View cited climate protection, fossil fuel over-dependence, air pollution, travel speed, travel safety, and need for better "last mile" solutions to assist traditional transit. Text of the council resolution and press coverage is provided. http://www.ultraprt.net/

5. PRT for Gurgaon, India

600,000-population Gurgaon is the call center capital of the world and won India's "best city to work in" and "best city to live in" titles from Business Today magazine. Hindustan Times embraced PRT for Gurgaon: "It may well be the answer to reducing travel time in growing traffic snarls of our cities. The state of Haryana government has shown interest in this futuristic transport system for Gurgaon." Says Transport Commissioner, Anand Mohan Sharan: "It is an environment friendly system and a green solution to congestion caused by vehicles used for local commuting." Hindustan Times article. http://tinyurl.com/25bwcec

6. PRT for Tysons Corner, Virginia

Tysons Corner (Virginia) is a well-known suburban "edge city," on 4.9 square miles with a worker-heavy daytime population of more than 100,000. A specific plan is being developed to transform the area with an emphasis on reduced auto-dependence and more housing. While Tysons will have four new Metro stations, recent press coverage highlighted complaints from major landowners about the lack of a "last mile" solution. PRT offers the only realistic last mile solution for Tysons. A system sketch, circulator service comparison, and transit planning "use cases" are provided. http://www.ultraprt.net/

"Instead of waiting until Tysons' very long-term [$165M per mile] fixed-guideway transit is built, Tysons could become a visionary community by building and implementing a state-of-the-art PRT system at the beginning.
" - Steve Offutt, Greater Greater Washington blog.

7. PRT for Portland New Urbanist Amberglen Plan

Portland suburb Hillsboro became the first U.S. city to adopt language favorable to PRT within a city-adopted specific plan. The ambitious 582-acre Amberglen Plan states, "A transit circulator facilitates quick connections to transit stations. Eventually ... PRT or other local circulator could serve to focus area investment near transit corridors." The distance from the north end of Amberglen to Quatama MAX light rail station is 2.0 miles. A faster-than-a-car PRT system makes this connection five times faster than jogging-speed circulator bus or 19th-century streetcar. A PRT system sketch is provided. http://www.ultraprt.net/

8. Sept. [email protected] and Oct. San Jose conferences

Those considering PRT for their locale should consider attending the following 2010 conferences:

8A. Podcar City Conference San Jose, October 27-29, San Jose City Hall. http://podcarcity.org/sanjose/

"PRT fits perfectly with public transit and high-speed rail," said Rod Diridon, Executive Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute and a California High Speed Rail Authority board member. "It is a brilliant solution to the first and last mile of travel, connecting people to the primary transportation lines. They also allow many people to have greater mobility, such as seniors, disabled people, and anyone else who cannot easily walk to transit."

"We place significant value on the development of transit options for residents and visitors that further the San Jose Green Vision. PRT definitely will help us reach our Green Vision goals, while serving as a model for other cities around the world." said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.

8B. [email protected] 2010 Conference, London Heathrow Airport, September 21-23.

http://www.ptrc-training.co.uk/event.php?id=173

source for this info: http://www.cities21.org/cms/index.php?page=june2010
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 05:34 AM   #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveraneyC21 View Post
1. ULTra PRT for London Heathrow Airport on-schedule for historic Summer 2010 start

This summer, the London Heathrow ULTra system will become the world's first PRT system to enter revenue service. Commissioning activities at London Heathrow continue with "passenger trails and proving out the system in various scenarios: large influxes of passengers, emergency scenarios, and non-standard use cases where passengers have special needs or seek to use the ULTra system in an unexpected manner. This comprehensive test program will ensure that the ULTra system provides a reliable, user-friendly, high-quality service from the very first day of public operation." http://www.ultraprt.net/
Will it be starting in June or July? Im flying into Heathrow on July 31 and Id love to see the PRT in action.

Cheers, m
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:46 PM   #243
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Will it be starting in June or July? Im flying into Heathrow on July 31 and Id love to see the PRT in action.

Cheers, m
At Heathrow, the customer is BAA. They are in control over whether you can fly in and use the system on July 31. BAA and ULTra PRT will have a "soft start" this summer where we enter revenue service, but there are restrictions on who can ride the system. These restrictions will be gradually loosened. It's another prudent method to start up a system while ensuring that everything goes smoothly.

So, how's that for an extremely frustrating response? Sorry about that.

If you can fly in on BA, you'll land at T5, which is where the PRT system is.

Here's one of the ULTra stations:

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Old June 5th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #244
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Are there any plans for this to be extended to other car parks and/or other terminals?
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Old June 10th, 2010, 01:47 AM   #245
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Are there any plans for this to be extended to other car parks and/or other terminals?
Heathrow Airport operator BAA will provide some sort of an answer to this question, possibly this summer.

In the mean time, here is the result of one Heathrow planning study for a larger ULTra network:

Long Range Planning Case Study (2005)

Objective: Solve critical problems of congestion in tunnel access to Central Terminal Area (CTA) - both for staff and air passengers.

Result: ULTra is excellent solution to landside transport needs of LHR:
  • Excellent value for money, especially compared to APM: 30-year NPV of +£73M at 6% discount
  • Saving in operating cost of 40% over current bus service
  • Typical passenger time saving of 60%
  • Valuable reduction in emissions





Source: http://www.ultraprt.net/cms/index.ph...ase-study-2005
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 06:37 PM   #246
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When, when, when, when???

http://www.londonandnyc.com/2010/09/...w-airport.html
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Old September 5th, 2010, 08:12 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by steveraneyC21 View Post
At Heathrow, the customer is BAA. They are in control over whether you can fly in and use the system on July 31. BAA and ULTra PRT will have a "soft start" this summer where we enter revenue service, but there are restrictions on who can ride the system. These restrictions will be gradually loosened. It's another prudent method to start up a system while ensuring that everything goes smoothly.

So, how's that for an extremely frustrating response? Sorry about that.

If you can fly in on BA, you'll land at T5, which is where the PRT system is.

Here's one of the ULTra stations:

hahah well, thanks for the photo at least...that is, I suppose, the closest that I will get to PRT for a while.

On the subject of Terminal 5 - Ive never spent so much time on escalators/elevators (at an Airport) in my life!

Enter the building, go to the passenger area, take escalator down 4 stories, take train to concourse, take escalator up 4 stories, walk to gate area, pass through boarding pass control, take escalator down to the boarding lounge, then finally we walk down a ramp to get to our plane.

No wonder I could see Terminal 5 from the highway - it is a massive building on so many levels (pardon the pun).

No wonder PRT is needed.

Cheers, m
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Old October 12th, 2010, 04:00 PM   #248
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Masdar scraps it's PRT plans in favour of electric cars.

http://www.thenational.ae/featured-c...port-pods-plan

Quote:
Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Government's clean energy company, has put its plan for futuristic transport pods on the back-burner and will instead turn to commercial electric cars, executives said yesterday.

The personal rapid transport (PRT) system, a network of driverless electric vehicles, is in use at the Masdar Institute, the first stage of the city that was completed last month. But the technology would require further development to meet the needs of later stages of the city, said Dr Sultan al Jaber, the chief executive of Masdar.

"We're big believers in this technology," he said. "But today does it meet our requirements moving forward? No, not as it is today. "Has the PRT matured over the past three years? Absolutely. But the way to get it from where it is today at the Masdar project to where we want it to be, is going to take a little bit more time than our own design."Today we have access to electric vehicles that have developed very quickly over the past three years."

The emerging electric vehicle industry has accelerated, with the release of two battery-powered cars, the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, due before the end of the year. Dr al Jaber confirmed that Masdar had begun talks with Daimler to co-operate on electric cars and said it would make use of developments by other UAE-based companies focused on clean technology, including Aabar, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, known as Taqa, and IPIC. Alan Frost, the director of Masdar City, said the project ought to make use of these mass-market technologies instead of developing its own networks. "For Masdar to be a true learning experience it needs to be innovative but it also needs to be tapping into what's available in all the rest of the world," he said.

Masdar had originally planned to build the city on a 7.5-metre platform designed to house delivery stations, utilities and waste collection points under pedestrian areas. However, the city will now feature wider streets to accommodate existing commercial vehicles for these purposes.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #249
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If you had a car powered by batteries, such as the Nissan Leaf, and it had an on board computer system that drove it for you, you would have something pretty close to PRT that operates on city streets.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/sc...ogle.html?_r=1

Smarter Than You Think
Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic

By JOHN MARKOFF
Published: October 9, 2010

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Anyone driving the twists of Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles recently may have glimpsed a Toyota Prius with a curious funnel-like cylinder on the roof. Harder to notice was that the person at the wheel was not actually driving.

The car is a project of Google, which has been working in secret but in plain view on vehicles that can drive themselves, using artificial-intelligence software that can sense anything near the car and mimic the decisions made by a human driver.

With someone behind the wheel to take control if something goes awry and a technician in the passenger seat to monitor the navigation system, seven test cars have driven 1,000 miles without human intervention and more than 140,000 miles with only occasional human control. One even drove itself down Lombard Street in San Francisco, one of the steepest and curviest streets in the nation. The only accident, engineers said, was when one Google car was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light.

...
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Old October 13th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #250
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Not really. There are still going to be obstacles(traffic lights, road signs, road laws, etc) that will impede the speed of the car. I thought PRT was marketed as direct point to point travel with no stopping in between.

The automated car is cool, but who would pay money for a car that can drive itself? Takes the fun out of driving.
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Old October 16th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #251
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Not really. There are still going to be obstacles(traffic lights, road signs, road laws, etc) that will impede the speed of the car. I thought PRT was marketed as direct point to point travel with no stopping in between.
Yes, there definitely is a trade-off. As generally envisioned, PRT operates on a dedicated guideway with stations at intervals similar to conventional transit. There would be no waiting for stoplights, but the passenger might have to walk several blocks from the station to their final destination. An automated car might have to wait at stoplights, but could deliver the passenger to the front door of their final destination.

Quote:
The automated car is cool, but who would pay money for a car that can drive itself? Takes the fun out of driving.
Over 90% of car buyers in the United States have decided that they don't need the fun of shifting gears and have chosen cars with automatic transmissions. Yes, I agree that there will always be enthusiasts who want to do the driving themselves, but they will be outnumbered by those who will be happy to sit back and enjoy the ride while a computer does the driving.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 06:15 AM   #252
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Advances: Heathrow, India, Conferences, LAX

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." [ http://www.ultraprt.com/ ]

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: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/a...ow/6550018.cms ]

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

[ Front page pod pic, architectural plan, article, and slide show: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...r-graphic.html ]

[ Growth unlikely for Masdar PRT: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/shoot-moon-356536.html ]

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?"

[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agqkWDOI4W8 ]

5. The recent September 21-23 [email protected] 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 http://www.prtconsulting.com ]

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: http://www.podcarcity.org/sanjose ]

[Free Oct 27 IMAX event: http://podcarcity.org/events/podcar-.../public-night/ ]

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: http://www.ultraprt.net/cms/LosAngel...ncilMotion.pdf ]

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.
[ Read more: http://www.ultraprt.com/applications...gary-downtown/ ]

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: http://www.ultraprt.net/cms/PRTdesignArticle.pdf ]

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.

[Subscription info: www.intersectionmagazine.com ]
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Old October 20th, 2010, 01:39 PM   #253
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Well, 'Vectus' looks much cheapper and least 'World - class'. I prefer 'ULTRa'.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 06:41 PM   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Over 90% of car buyers in the United States have decided that they don't need the fun of shifting gears and have chosen cars with automatic transmissions. Yes, I agree that there will always be enthusiasts who want to do the driving themselves, but they will be outnumbered by those who will be happy to sit back and enjoy the ride while a computer does the driving.
In both cases, the driver is in control of steering, accelerating, and braking. You're going to be hard-pressed to find drivers who will pay money just so a computer will drive the vehicle for them. It's simply not going to happen. People drive because they want the freedom to go where they want, when they want.
Automated cars look cool, and seem like a novel concept, but it's unlikely they will catch on.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 01:33 AM   #255
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Are these guys for real?

http://www.subways.net/usa/california/mountainview.html
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Old October 21st, 2010, 01:53 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by dwdwone View Post
The above website incorrectly states that Google is building a Shweeb monorail on their campus in Mountain View, California. Shweeb won a contest sponsored by Google and as a result will get some funding; however, there is no plan (yet) to build a Shweeb system on the Google campus. I tend to agree that the money for any such system would be better spent on ground level bike and pedestrian trails.

Google has a policy known as 20% Time. Technical staff are encouraged to spend 20% of their working hours, essentially one day per week, working on their own innovative projects. The vast majority of these special projects go nowhere, but there have been some major successes such as Gmail and Google Reader.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 02:08 PM   #257
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Regarding self-driving cars, Google is not the only one with experiments underway. DARPA sponsored a series of heavily publicized trials a few years ago < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA_Grand_Challenge >. The DARPA project demonstrated self-driving vehicles in both off-road and urban environments. GM has also been developing self-driving vehicles < http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22529906/ >.

Some of the technologies for self-driving vehicles are already being incorporated in cars. Most cars on the market are now available with built-in GPS navigation systems. Several cars are now on the market that can parallel park themselves. Several are also on the market with collision avoidance systems that warn the driver of obstructions ahead or alongside during lane changes.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 09:26 PM   #258
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Don't know what the hold-up is with Ultra at Heathrow.

But, I hadn't seen this posted.
Video of full scale testing conducted over the winter.
From their website.
http://www.ultraprt.com/news/86/149/...icle-trips-hr/
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Old April 20th, 2011, 07:58 PM   #259
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"T5 Business Car Park passengers today (18.04.2011) joined in confidence trials of the Heathrow pod.
The trial, due to last three weeks, will encourage travellers to get on board and let BAA and Ultra, the pod's creators and developers, know what they think of the system.
First day feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with passengers undertaking the five minute ride to/from the T5 Business Car Park to T5 describing it as "futuristic", "rapid" and "a transport revelation".
It is anticipated that the system will go fully live this summer, with the 21 pod vehicles operating 22 hours a day."

Edit: From Ultra site
http://www.ultraprt.com/news/87/149/...-Trials-Begin/

Last edited by Bremas; April 21st, 2011 at 02:33 AM.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 12:17 AM   #260
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Thanks for the link, I can't wait to ride it!

Last edited by lkstrknb; April 26th, 2011 at 04:24 PM.
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