Thursday, August 25, 2011

PRT Hucksters Crank Up the Hype on Heathrow Pods

After a loooong wait and several delayed launches, the glorified golf carts at Heathrow are getting evaluated by... Twitter?

We'll it's not exactly "pod fever". And not all tweets are happy tweets:

Heathrow's ULTra Pods apparently have a 5% Failure Rate.

After many attempts over the years and hundreds of millions of dollars spent on studies, research and development, there are no true PRT systems in operation anywhere in the world. The pod project at Heathrow is supposed to be PRT, but it lacks the essential features of a true PRT system - multiple offline, elevated stations, lightweight pods and a slim, one-way guideway.

There really isn't much difference between the ULTra pod project at Heathrow and a nearly identical project in 1997 at Schiphol Airport. So what's the big deal?

Here's a 2002 video of automated pods in action:

Read about recent Personal Rapid Transit flops and fiascos HERE.

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