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Old April 21st, 2011, 02:39 AM   #261
dwdwone
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I'd read there is or was a people mover in Belfast. I believe it was on a list of peoplemovers I saw on the web. Is anyone familiar with this PM?
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Old April 24th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #262
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Feeder for heavy rail

I have a theoretical problem to solve for the PRT people.

Situation: A trains station which is also the bus hub for the town served. As teh town has its own industry and service there will be 2/3 going to teh bigger cities and 1/3 of passengers from other towns to work there. It is served by commuter rail and a few hundreds passengers board or alight in the peak times.
Now with the bus the busses served differnt locations in teh town and arrive a few minutes before the train departs. The leave a few minutes after teh train has arrived. So there is little waiting time for the passengers. Note that there are four trains per hour and busses are full. Most busses are simple busse ca. 50 Passengers but some are larger capacity articulated busses. If teh busses leave a few hundreds passengers are in the busses which will be transported away.
With PRT i see foolowing problems.

A: There is a need to fill up the cars. So passengers going to the same station or at least same direction need to be combined together.

B: There is a huge peak demand. 100 Passengers already are 25 cars full. 200 passengers are 50 cars. That if problem A is solved. So there is a need to have many berths. Lets say we have 200 people and we want that all have left in three minutes. And a the whole boarding process takes 30 seconds. So 9 berths are used. How can be ensured that there are enough vehicles following and that a 30 second boarding for every berth is guaranteed, Many vehicles will be moving in and out berths blocking each other.

C: In the opposite direction people don't want to go to the Bus/PRT System to early. They don't want to miss the train either. How can travel times be guaranteed?


IMHO it will be not easy to integrate PRT into existing transit system. Because even if PRT can cope with the passengers per hour it has difficulties with peak loads. And peak loads will happen if its connected to existing transit stations. If people have to Q for the PRT a timed busconnection will provide the better and faster service
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Old April 26th, 2011, 04:21 PM   #263
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http://www.ultraprt.com/heathrow/

Finally!!! The Ultra website finally updated the opening date for the PRT system at London Heathrow. Now they anticipate it opening in summer 2011.

"In summer 2011 the first public ULTra system — which is also the first commercial PRT system anywhere in the world — will open at London’s Heathrow Airport. Commissioned by BAA (formerly the British Airport Authority) the system comprises some 4 kilometers of guideway and will link one station in Terminal 5 to two remote stations in the Business car park."
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Old April 26th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #264
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I have a non-theoretical, real-world answer to your theoretically posed problem.
Load and unload at high volume stops, such as the one you described, in series.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Vql...layer_embedded

I use that video as an example. It’s only 9 deep. If that’s not fast enough, make it longer. Heck I would even add a second level to eliminate the single point of failure.

As for how it might handle 200 passengers…. Let’s assume everyone uses own pod and no one ‘pools’. At 20 loading points deep, or 10 and 10 (stacked)… lets also assume absolutely worst case of 1min per line. That’s 20 loading or unloading per minute. 200 divided by 20 is 10mins. Seeing as how people can be arriving at the same time for the next train… that’s more than enough time to clear the platform. If that’s not fast enough, heck, double up the queue lines (20 each) now it takes 5 minutes to clear the platform.

Given a long enough platform and enough pods… prt can load or unload any amount of passengers that light rail, or heavy rail for that matter, can deliver or take away.

Now, for non-peak periods the system is self-scalable. It simply removes from service the ‘loading’ ports from the entry side of the prt platform. Now only a handful (the exact number would be fully scalable between 1 and all of them) are in operation on the departure end of the platform.
Further….. for routine operation during non-peak periods, the ‘series queue’ can be turned off completely. Simply have a little area on the departure end of the platform that operates in the normal ‘pull in and back out’ mode that the system at Heathrow currently uses. This would operate on a separate line and would not interfere with the ‘high volume series loading’ operations. It could be used at all times, even during the 'series loading'

Now…… about pooling. There is a direct economic benefit for people sharing a ride. (You pay per pod, not people) They will. My guess is that the average people per pod in such a high volume situation would be no less than 2. Just my guess. I can think of several ways people might hook up with others going to the same place. The way I would personally do it if I were at the back of the line…… “Hey, anyone going to such or such a station… If you got room I will pay.” If no one ‘pod pools’. Oh well, more money going into city coffers. No reason for the engineers to “figure this out.”
In my opinion, the technology (computers) have finally caught up with an idea that has been around for over half a century. I bet BAA plans to make a pretty penny off this eventually, when they start building systems elsewhere.
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Old April 29th, 2011, 10:42 PM   #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveraneyC21 View Post
The Morgantown vehicles hold 21 people so the Morgantown system is more accurately described as Group Rapid Transit, not personal rapid transit (3 or 4 person vehicles).
Seeing that we were talking about West-Virginia wherein a system was being devised at the end of that dynasty of large families --21 personal family members-- I think it's safe to categorise it PRT, which is the system wherefrom I learned that "PRT" term back in the 1970s.

Plus, all network stations obliging embarking passengers to have selected their destination for non-stop service by way of depressing a single button was another safe reason to leave good ol' Morgantown's in the PRT category (the whole network looked shut-down for ever back in '03).
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Old April 29th, 2011, 10:52 PM   #266
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Quote:
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Where are you getting this word "compete"? Cars NEVER drive along the trackway, and signals are timed for the light rail trains.
Pardon me, I've been dreadfully untimely at replying you.

You were writing about the Seattle LRT (which --surely-- must cross streets at grade), hence my terminology "compete". Metros interacting with other operators' railway services can indeed still maintain the distinction "metro" but would lose it the moment any segment of its route/line conflicts with either road or pedestrian traffic.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 02:19 AM   #267
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These small vehicles are nonsense. I'm sorry. Old Wine in new bottles.

Now at rush hour you have a car jam and than you have a PRT jam. If the station is totally occupied by other vehicles, what happened? The vehicle cannot wait on the small road, it would produce a jam. Your vehicle makes a circle like an airplane at congested terminal airspace, but the station is occupied again, because it's rush hour...

What do the other passengers (who want to drive to the next station) think about?

Think about a car jam. Why is a PRT better??? A road is full of PRT verhicles, each with a distance of 5 cm, no more vehicles are possible. But there is a feeder road and there are coming other PRT vehicles. A jam again?

This system works with few vehicles but not to transport masses of passengers at rush hour.

Last edited by networker; June 23rd, 2011 at 02:25 AM.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 02:45 AM   #268
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Are speeds on the route not averaged via computer to compensate this?
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Old June 24th, 2011, 05:10 AM   #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by networker View Post
These small vehicles are nonsense. I'm sorry. Old Wine in new bottles.

Now at rush hour you have a car jam and than you have a PRT jam. If the station is totally occupied by other vehicles, what happened? The vehicle cannot wait on the small road, it would produce a jam. Your vehicle makes a circle like an airplane at congested terminal airspace, but the station is occupied again, because it's rush hour...

What do the other passengers (who want to drive to the next station) think about?

Think about a car jam. Why is a PRT better??? A road is full of PRT verhicles, each with a distance of 5 cm, no more vehicles are possible. But there is a feeder road and there are coming other PRT vehicles. A jam again?

This system works with few vehicles but not to transport masses of passengers at rush hour.

Huh... Can't even figure out what you're trying to say, other than jam.. jam.. jam.. sucks.

Edit: Now that I've had a chance to reread it several times..... I think what you're missing is that loading and offloading is done on lines off the 'travel line'. And there can be a waiting area simply by extending the ramp a little further. Or the system can be loaded in series as I pointed out several posts above.

Or you can continue to forget to take your meds and rant. Either way.

Last edited by Bremas; June 24th, 2011 at 05:24 AM.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 05:30 AM   #270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidaiow View Post
Are speeds on the route not averaged via computer to compensate this?
It probably could, but not necessary and unwanted. Speeds are controlled by the computer but in terms of loading and unloading its best to get the pod off the 'travel line' and into the queue, so as not to interfere with system travel times.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 12:10 PM   #271
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^Ah cool, that makes sense! I guess they could always install more bays too!
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Old June 27th, 2011, 10:55 AM   #272
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I think PRTs have a future, and I sincerely don't gasp the hostility against the project.

The concept in itself is brilliant: an automated vehicle, running on a high-capacity system, that is at the same time PERSONAL and able to, through a centralized control, travel in the most efficient way in one-seat trips.

As so, it avoids the main problems and drawbacks of both cars and traditional mass transit.

In regard of cars, PRTs are self-driven and centrally controlled. This eliminates all the limitations that come from having human drivers (being myself an enthusiastic driver), like spacing, visual contact as the primary mean of scanning and deciding how to interact with other vehicles etc. It allows use by people that couldn't normally drive, like the blind, children, people who have drank alcohol.

In regard of traditional transit, PRT offers privacy akin to that of a car, doesn't require manned operators, are much less dependent on single bottlenecks (assuming large networks) and are available 24/7/365.

Of the many disruptive innovations that can replace the private car as the major player in transportation of people (in Europe, it accounts for 72% of all pax*km as we all know), the PRT concept, if proven viable, is the most likely candidate.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 07:56 PM   #273
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What we really need is a PRT that doesn't need a track or guideway and just runs on paved road with rubber tires.. The reason why they have never built these things is because heavy specialized infrastructure for ones that are attached to rails are just too expensive to create comprehensive networks that would go everywhere.

But paving roads is cheap. They could have special lanes on city streets even, or just be part of a planned development where the little laneways(no bigger than a asphalt driveway) are separate.

Basically cars that can drive themselves, but with a taxi or transit paradigm. With a personal car you have to park somewhere nor can you bring it with you on a plane or train. With these, you just go about your day hailing random cars to take you where you need to go no matter where you are.

This wouldn't replace normal cars or transit, but it would very convenient for certain trips.

Not every vehicle would be a electric pod car either. Maybe trucks and vans would circulate in the network so if you wanted to go buy furniture at the store you could take it home in one. Other curious specialized vehicles(food trucks, meeting rooms and cafe tables on wheels, rolling clubs, mobile motel rooms...use your imagination

Last edited by zaphod; June 29th, 2011 at 08:19 PM.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 08:49 PM   #274
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The problem is, basically, interference with other traffic and particularly pedestrians. I'm all in favor of any solution that takes the need to have employees operating any transit system, from airplanes to PRTs. Computers are more reliable than humans, but we're still not at the point where an advanced scheme or sensors and cameras can make a vehicle take intelligent decisions about stopping, accelerating, deviating.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 03:17 AM   #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
.. The reason why they have never built these things is because heavy specialized infrastructure for ones that are attached to rails are just too expensive to create comprehensive networks that would go everywhere.
Yes and no. Up until now the system required switches, which are points of failure as well as expensive. The current designs aren't much more than glorified pedestrian walkways. Very doable. It's the sudden increase in software capability that has changed the game.

Also, something which hasn't been discussed here, is the possibility of driving your own little pod up a ramp and having the system take over and dump you off an exit ramp at your destination. Just bonus use for the same infrastructure.

One more thing I'll throw out there though (and I have no idea about the engineering pros and cons with respect to Ultra). Any thoughts on why not use hydrogen fuel cells. Just seems to me that eliminating recharge time seems like a no brainer. Is the technology not there yet?
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Old July 1st, 2011, 12:10 AM   #276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by networker View Post
If the station is totally occupied by other vehicles, what happened?
Morgantown's has/d bypass tracks at non-terminus stations so there's no entanglement you were referring to. Alas, all I could tell from my visits on Morgantown's system was the gradually snuffing-out of PRT attributes (e.g., your PRT called at all stations weekends...)
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Old July 1st, 2011, 12:42 AM   #277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
What we really need is a PRT that doesn't need a track or guideway and just runs on paved road with rubber tires.. The reason why they have never built these things is because heavy specialized infrastructure for ones that are attached to rails are just too expensive to create comprehensive networks that would go everywhere.

But paving roads is cheap. They could have special lanes on city streets even, or just be part of a planned development where the little laneways(no bigger than a asphalt driveway) are separate.

Basically cars that can drive themselves, but with a taxi or transit paradigm. With a personal car you have to park somewhere nor can you bring it with you on a plane or train. With these, you just go about your day hailing random cars to take you where you need to go no matter where you are.

This wouldn't replace normal cars or transit, but it would very convenient for certain trips.

Not every vehicle would be a electric pod car either. Maybe trucks and vans would circulate in the network so if you wanted to go buy furniture at the store you could take it home in one. Other curious specialized vehicles(food trucks, meeting rooms and cafe tables on wheels, rolling clubs, mobile motel rooms...use your imagination
Yes, I agree that we could have all the attributes of PRT in a self-driving vehicle that operates on our existing roads rather than a specialized guideway. Regarding parking, a self-driving car could take its passengers to the front door of their destination, and then continue autonomously to a remote parking area. A cell phone call could page the car to come and pick up its passengers when they complete their business.

The technology for all this is still in the developmental stages; however, the state of Nevada is already preparing for it.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2387526,00.asp

Nevada Gives Green Light to Self-Driving Cars

By Mark Hachman

Last week, the state of Nevada passed a bill that will require its state Department of Motor Vehicles to draw up rules for self-driving cars, essentially paving the way for autonomous vehicles to be used on state roadways.

Section 8 of the law, which governs autonomous vehicles, will take effect on March 1, 2012. It was approved by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval on June 16.

Self-driving cars have been tested by Google since 2010, and most recently by Volkswagen, whose Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP) car is part of a research project in the EU, but with what the company describes as "production-ready" components.

Nevada defines "autonomous vehicle" as a motor vehicle that uses artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning system coordinates to drive itself without the active intervention of a human operator.

The law does not mean that self-driving cars will instantly be "street legal" next year. Instead, it tasks the Nevada DMV to come up with a series of regulations surrounding all aspects of ownership and operation of autonomous vehicles, some or all of which will undoubtedly be used as models for the rest of the country.

For example, the law requires the Nevada DMV to adopt regulations authorizing the operation of autonomous vehicles, and the requirements that such a vehicle must have before it can be operated on a state highway. It also requires the DMV to develop insurance standards to test and operate the self-driving cars, as well.

Finally, the law requires the DMV to set forth such requirements as the DMV deems to be necessary.

One might argue that Google has already tested its self-driving cars extensively; when the company announced them in 2010, Google said that Google engineers have already driven a fleet of them around the San Francisco Bay Area, to the tune of over 140,000 miles.

Editor's Note: Brian Sandoval is the governor of Nevada.
For more from Mark, follow him on Twitter @MarkHachman.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #278
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Heathrow has pulled the bus option and has gone to 100% pods on that route.

"The last six months at Heathrow has seen the ULTra system complete final operational testing and enter passenger service. On Monday 18th April 2011, T5 Business Car Park passengers started using the Heathrow Pod. In the weeks that followed, operating hours were increased, with the system operating a (22 hour) full service from the 7th May. By the start of June, nearly 20,000 journeys had been completed. Indeed, performance has been such that BAA has withdrawn the bus service from this car park, ensuring all passengers travel to and from T5 by the Heathrow pod. "

from here:
http://www.citymobil-project.eu/site...ail.php?nid=98
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Old July 6th, 2011, 09:42 PM   #279
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Do you know if Heathrow's pods will always be this short?


^ ^ clickable
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Old July 6th, 2011, 10:44 PM   #280
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Quote:
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Do you know if Heathrow's pods will always be this short?


^ ^ clickable
So far, yes. The idea is to provide personal, quick access from the terminal to various spots on the parking lot. Each person travel alone or with up to 3 companions going with him/her.
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