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                 July 2017
From the Academic Chair....

Lots is happening in our world of new mobility options with a large focus on UBER, LIFT, and driverless cars attempting to redefine transit. But emerging shuttle systems and solar powered automated transit networks are starting to gain some recognition.  The big discussion in the US is - what is transit?  How is it being redefined and how do we create a fully linked multi-modal system that allows for mobility for all?  Please join in the discussion to assist with defining what is possible!

This is our second issue of Academic Transit Pulse and I look forward to any news or information for the categories of jobs, conferences, grants and other opportunities to share with others along with what you have been doing since last fall to include! So, please share and share with anyone who might also have something to share and are interested in Advanced Transit!! 

  • Alain Kornhauser organized a Summit (sponsored by ATRA) May 17 -18 at Princeton titled Smart Driving Car Deployment
  • Stan Young presented a workshop at the Symposium titled: Modeling Urban Mobility Districts: Stan Young, \ & Venu Garikapati, NREL
  • PodCar City is moving forward for the fall lead by the vision of Christer Lindstrom, November 8-10, 2017 in Las Vegas
  •  An International Competition (UIDC) along with and at the PodCar City Conference - a fantastic opportunity

The regular institutional membership rate is $500 per year, which includes individual memberships for five faculty and staff, and an unlimited number of undergraduate and graduate students from the institution. New members of the Academic Council receive a 30% discount for the first year, making the rate only $350.

For more information on the ATRA Academic Council, feel free to contact the ATRA Academic Council Chairperson: Shannon Sanders McDonald, Southern Illinois University, [email protected]

Academic Memberships also include all the Individual member benefits for the Faculty/Staff/Students provided and more:
  • Contacts with a wide variety of transportation professionals specifically interested in automated transit
  • Discounts on registration fees for ATRA sponsored APM and PRT conferences
  • Discount on registration fees for PodcarCity Conferences
  • Access to ATRA information papers, documents, studies, blog, and website
  • Subscription to the ATRA Pulse monthly e-Newsletter
  • Knowledge that you are building a global alliance of supporters of innovative transportation technologies
  • Satisfaction in advancing transit and urban life and working with peers to meet the 21st century transportation needs!
To join, please complete the Membership information on our membership page.

Our Membership Coordinator will contact you with details and instructions on how we can assist your school in taking advantage of your ATRA Membership.

Associate Professor Shannon Sanders McDonald
ATRA Academic Council Chairperson  [email protected]
Self-driving cars will increase road congestion by Professor Ingmar Andreasson

Many car companies are already testing self-driving cars on public roads. Governments are changing regulations to permit self-driving to support their car industries. In the hype around self-driving, some believe that self-driving cars will solve traffic congestion and eliminate the need for Automated Transit Networks and guideways. Read more...

How to Reduce Congestion: An Idea that will not Die! by Dr. J. Edward Anderson

As a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, I became interested in urban transportation in 1968 because the newly formed Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) invited proposals from Universities to set up interdisciplinary research and training programs in the application of new technology to urban transportation. Read more...


May 17-18, 2017 Princeton University, New Jersey 
Prepared by Lawrence J. Fabian, Trans.21 [email protected]

Texas Southern University Studying Advancing Research of Automated Roadway Vehicles in Public Transit Applications

TSU's Center for Transportation Training and Research (CTTR) is working to further research after completing a TRB/NCHRP study of autonomous vehicle transit systems.
The History of the Advanced Transit 
 Association (ATRA)        

Chapter Four by Dr J. Edward Anderson

1979 - The Fourth Year

The Ajman project is a US $881 Million project which is the largest electrical vehicle transport system in the world to be executed by Ultra Fairwood. View video...

Comparing Automated Shared Taxis and Con ventional Bus Transit for a Small City 

Dr. Louis A. Merlin, AICP Florida Atlantic University

Airport Urbanism book review

Associate Professor Shannon Sanders McDonald

Link to Review

Automation and Smart Cities:
Opportunity or threat?

A 2getthere white paper

Fairwood to Build World's Largest Electric Vehicle Transport System in Ajman

The Fairwood Group company, ULTraFairwood has announced the signing of a contract to build the world's largest PRT/GRT project in Ajman City, UAE. The capex value of the core project will be US$ 881 million, and the system cost, supplied by ULTraFairwood, will be US$ 723 million (~INR 4,700 crs.).  Read more...

AirBridgeCargo moves prototype autonomous vehicle for Geodis

July 04, 2017: Geodis, one of the world's leading supply chain operators, chose AirBridgeCargo Airlines' (ABC) off-size cargo expertise to manage the delivery of the newly-developed Group Rapid Transit (GRT) prototype autonomous vehicle to Singapore.  Read more...

Fairwood to build world's largest electric vehicle transport system in Ajman

The Fairwood Group's 'ULTraFairwood' announced the signing of a contract to build the world's largest Personal/Group Rapid Transit (PRT/GRT) project in Ajman City, UAE.  Read more...

Fairwood Group To Build World's Largest Electric Transport Network In UAE Under Make In India

Noida-based Fairwood Group has announced its foray into the personal rapid transit (PRT) manufacturing and construction sector. ULTra Fairwood (UF), a joint-venture between Fairwood and the ULTra Group of UK will construct the world's largest PRT project in Ajman City in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Read more...

Taxi 2000 Closes its Doors

Taxi 2000 was founded in June 1983. After almost exactly 34 years, the company is now closing its doors having never been able to sell a system let alone raise the money to build a full scale test track. They did build a prototype vehicle that operated back and forwards on a 60 foot guideway and a scale model with numerous vehicles that demonstrated their control system in action.

Taxi 2000 is evidence that, while expert systems engineering is requi red to develop what seems to be a good example of high capacity PRT, it is not sufficient. The endurance was there but the ability to raise capital and "sell" the idea of PRT and the product itself was apparently not.

The timing is sad since there are indications the industry is beginning to tip, including today's announcement of a 1550-vehicle, 120-kilometer PRT and GRT system in Ajman, UAE (see below).

Ultra Fairwood bags rapid transit project in UAE

New Delhi, Jun 29 (PTI) Transportation technology solutions provider Ultra Fairwood will undertake a USD 1.6 billion rapid transport project at the UAEs Ajman city.  Read more...

JTA's U2C Program: A Fixed Guideway Disruptor?

Eric Reguly on how self-driving cars will kill cities, not save them

This TreeHugger was so excited when  first confronted with the idea of the self-driving car  almost six years ago. Even back then it was predicted that they would be shared, smaller, lighter, slower, and there will likely be about a tenth as many of them. (and not common until 2040). I have written about how they  will improve our cities and towns , making our cities  better and greener.

Masdar City sees 'strong progress' with mixed-use neighbourhood

Driverless Personal Rapid Transit network will be temporarily suspended from July 2 to accommodate ongoing construction.
Pod Taxi for city: A reality or bubble? 

BENGALURU: Two US-based companies and a Singaporean firm have expressed interest in building the ambitious personal rapid transit (PRT) system that will have pod-like vehicles carrying passengers on elevated tracks.  Read more...

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.


ATRA Membership is an opportunity for you and your organization to contribute to a better world by leveraging advanced transit to improve mobility and accessibility of all, while increasing safety and reducing energy use and pollution. 

ATRA membership works best for those that get involved and contribute.

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In this Issue
Letter from the Academic Chair
ATRA Academic News
Other News

Website Updates
2017 Membership Renewals Due Now!

PodcarCity9 Session Papers and Videos available.

View our Website for the latest   ATRA news updates.

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