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Tim HuttonTim Hutton - 2011-10-13 16:31:53+0000 - Updated: 2011-10-13 16:31:53+0000
Originally shared by Ian BickingThe first fully-functioning PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) system is finally open to the public, and seems to be successful, at the Heathrow Airport.

If you haven't heard about PRT the Wikipedia page has a lot of material: – the specific system here is made by ULTra:

My understanding of the ULTra system is that it's pretty conservative. It has the important features of PRT: the cars are small (intended for individuals and families), availability and routing is on-demand (you are routed directly to your destination), and the system is automated. The actual vehicles aren't that exciting though, they are essentially small electric cars that use small dedicated roads that have embedded signaling that allows the vehicle to guide itself. Also the track layout is fairly simple (maybe in part because there are relatively few stations on this initial deployment), and doesn't feature the interconnected one-way loops that I find interesting in PRT proposals that cover a more interconnected area. Lastly the vehicles are pretty slow, about 25mph (40km/h); PRT systems don't need to be very fast to be competitive because they can travel most of the trip at their maximum speed (unlike mass transit, or cars when they are off the highway), but 25mph is still slow.

Still, a positive step.

Taking a ride on Heathrow’s ULTra Personal Rapid Transit System - Pocket-lint

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