December 2017
From the President
Greetings!There are lots of interesting items in the news this month. Ultra-Fairwood is preparing to have pods manufactured in India which will hopefully bring prices down. This is no doubt in preparation for the numerous so-called "pod taxi" solicitations popping up in India.

Talking of "numerous" brings to mind all the driverless-shuttle demos and installations. These shuttles seem to really be catching on. Personally I am surprised that communities are not waiting to first see them approved for operation without attendants and to see how cost-effective they can be. Pretty much the same thing can be said for all the studies involving unproven Hyperloop-type systems. Will they work? Will people ride them? What capacity will they have? Will they be cost-effective?

Hopefully the funding announcement for Skytran is an indication that we can soon expect another ATN system to be commercially available.

As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,
Peter Muller, ATRA President
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Rico Auto Industries gains 3% on joint venture with Singapore company
Rico Auto Industries shares rallied more than 3 percent intraday Wednesday on signing joint venture agreement with Singapore-based company.

The company informed exchanges that it has signed the joint venture agreement with Ultra Fairwood PTE Limited, Singapore.

$560m aerial cabs mooted for Tauranga
A $560 million rapid transport system called SkyCabs has been mooted as the answer to Tauranga's increasingly congested roads.

It is not clear if this system has offline stations. If not, vehicles will have to stop at every station which dramatically reduces average speeds. Note that the guideways and columns appear disproportionately slim.

Gainesville to unveil new autonomous shuttle in April
Come April, Gainesville will introduce a self-driving shuttle service that will run 10 hours a day Monday through Friday from Depot Park, located at 200 SE Depot Ave., to UF’s campus, said city spokesperson.

Set for a short ride home
Ever watched 'The Jetsons' and wondered how you could get into one of those pod taxis and swoosh to your destination? This could soon be a reality in Bengaluru because the BBMP has planned to introduce the Personal Rapid Transit System (pod taxi service) near the Metro Stations and bus stations (in selected stretches).

Transportation Startup Closes $6.5 Million
According to a recent SEC filing, personal rapid transit (PRT) system skyTran raised $6.5 million in financing from an undisclosed investor.

Work on pod taxis in Bengaluru to start in January
BENGALURU: The hyped project of personalized rapid transport — the pod taxi — is inching closer to reality. Mayor R Sampath Raj said BBMP is hopeful of starting groundwork in January.

The bid date has now apparently been pushed back to around January 1. Mister is upset because their pictures keep getting used by the Indian press without permission, so we are recognizing them here. 

Rapid Interstate Transit Pods
Personal transportation solutions such as the automobile have grown immensely in popularity and are now seeing something of a decline as consumers ditch cars to live in cities, so new options like the 'P-trak' are being designed.

BBMP now taking us on Pod Taxi ride?
Though the BBMP has cited an IISc study to back its move, the study actually warns the Palike of the pitfalls of the project.

Any big project has its pitfalls and they do need to be considered. The companies proposing on this project will need to answer these types of questions in order to satisfy their financiers. 

Important step taken towards brick-wall stop elimination.
As shown in the picture, it felt like the sun was beaming down on me in Morgantown last week. The ASCE APM Standards Committee meeting accepted ATRA's request to modify the so-called brick-wall stop criterion to be more acceptable to ATN systems. Once approved (it now goes out to ballot by the full committee) this change will be included in the 2018 edition of the Standard due out in late 2018. It could allow some PRT systems to more than double their capacity while still meeting the Standard. Peter Muller
Denver’s first driverless shuttle hits the test track, avoids tumbleweed before possible 2018 launch
The autonomous shuttle is part of partnership between RTD, CDOT and Panasonic to help solve the region’s “last mile” commuting issues

How a 'Jetsons'-like system could help Tampa Bay's traffic woes
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Remember the Jetsons' iconic flying car? If you watched the 1960s cartoon, you probably dreamt of riding around in the futuristic vehicle.

Fisker Inc. shared news of its partnership with Hakim Unique Group and the future production of its first autonomous electric shuttle, the Fisker Orbit.

Musk's Tunnel Fix To LA's 'Soul-Destroying Traffic' Wins Support
Going underground is at least three times as expensive as elevated. Carrying cars around on sleds perpetuates all the problems we have with cars. It may reduce congestion but it is not an efficient way to move people around. The cars will likely have single occupants for the most part. This seems like an expensive elitist solution.

Councilman Paul Koretz wants to expedite Elon Musk's underground tunnel system to transport cars from the South Bay To the Valley.

Singapore's driverless buses to serve three towns by 2022
While driverless buses are making cameos in Las Vegas and Michigan, they're set to become a more common sight in Singapore in the near future. 

To make their plan financially viable, companies that will implement pod taxi system in Bengaluru, are talking to shopping malls and IT parks along the stretches identified by the BBMP.

All Your Questions About the Hyperloop, Answered
This article answers some of the questions but misses the most important which is "why are we so seemingly focused on solving inter-city travel when the real problem is intra-city congestion?"

In August 2013, disappointed by the high-speed-rail system being built through the center of California, Elon Musk released a white paper called Hyperloop Alpha, describing a system of pod-cars shooting through vacuum tubes at nearly 800 mph. 

Increasing Urban Transport Challenges are Likely to Impel the Growth of POD Taxi Market in Future, according to Research Nester
This is a report on the global ATN market that can be purchased for $4,000.

“Global POD Taxi Market Analysis & Opportunity Outlook 2021”
The global POD taxi market is segmented into applications such as airports, shopping malls, eco towns, urban city developments and tourist attractions

India To Float Tender For Driverless Pods Project In December
India is set to float its first tender for a suspended dirveless pods taxi project in New Delhi next month, said Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Pod Taxis to be reality in City by 2019
The picture depicts the Metrino system.

After the Namma Metro facilitated easy, quick and pollution-free travel, the BBMP will further make commuting all the more comfortable by introducing Pod Taxi service by 2019.

CSU Campuses are Top Performers in Sustainable Campus Index
San José State, which was also ranked a top performer for waste minimization and diversion, was recognized for its efforts in sustainable transportation thanks to its innovative work with solar-powered Automated Transit Network (ATN) development.

Forget Pod taxis, fill potholes first: experts urge BBMP
As BBMP prepares to float tenders for the driverless Pod taxies, experts and citizens have criticized the move saying the money could be better spent.

Bad roads, broken pavements, potholes or loose gravel ruinning your ride? Fret not. BBMP's silver bullet is getting ready faster than you think. 

PAMS2017 unveils South Korea’s first driverless shuttle
PANGYO, Gyeonggi Province -- With companies and countries worldwide striving to gain an upper hand in self-driving vehicle technology, South Korea on Thursday unveiled its first fully automated shuttle dubbed Zero Shuttle.

Transit authority reveals details on driverless shuttle coming to downtown Tampa
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority has tapped California-based Coast Autonomous to provide self-driving shuttles.

The project is one of the first by a United States transit agency to be used in an open environment with live and mixed traffic.

Autonomous shuttle demonstrations at UW-Madison derailed after crash in Las Vegas
A self-driving vehicle scheduled to carry passengers on a Madison street this week was sidelined after a crash with a delivery truck caused by a human error in Las Vegas.

Bengaluru to have futuristic pod taxis?
On Monday, Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George announced that global tenders have been called for the installation of pod taxis in the city.

PRT schedule change planned Nov. 13-17 for modernization testing
The West Virginia University Personal Rapid Transit system will be closed to passenger service starting at 8 p.m. next week (Nov. 13-17) to accommodate phase II modernization testing. 

PRT improvements continue
MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Friday was the first winter-like day in Morgantown and when that happens, WVU students say problems with the PRT tend to increase.

No. They will likely be part of the solution but no one technology will be the future of transportation.

IN AMERICA, THE age of autonomous shuttles began with a crunch. A minor crunch, really, according to the people running the autonomous shuttle in question.

Space Coast could help develop futuristic, monorail-like mass transit— again
It's like a page from science-fiction: A techno transit company, using Jetsons-like pods and magnetic levitation, will build a test track at Kennedy Space Center and develop a mass transit system capable of whisking commuters around an elevated rail network.

Without Changes in Traffic Infrattructure, Driverless Vehicles Are Non-starter in UAE
This article recognizes the potential problems that will likely be caused by introducing driverless vehicles into mixed traffic on existing roads.

Large-scale introduction of driverless vehicles in modern urban traffic is an unlikely scenario for the next 10 to 15 years for the UAE.

First self-driving shuttle on public roads to launch in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS — On Wednesday, Las Vegas residents and visitors will get a chance to hop on the country’s first autonomous shuttle to operate on public roads, thanks to a partnership with AAA.

Waymo ditches safety driver in self-driving public pilot
Waymo announced Tuesday that it will go completely driverless, with the eventual goal of launching an autonomous car-sharing service. 

The above links are to articles that appear relevant to advanced transit but no guarantee is made as to their accuracy and no verification of the integrity of the associated websites has been made.

Editorial comments are in italics.
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