March 2020
From the President
Greetings! Larry Fabian was a long-time ATRA member who contributed to many ATRA events and newsletters. My understanding is he became sick with Hepatitis A over about ten days and was being treated when he passed in the Dominican Republic on Feb. 21. His obituary is below. He will be sorely missed.

Travelling internationally recently highlighted the forced social crowding involved. Personal rapid transit clearly has the potential to mitigate this problem which is both a security and a Corona Virus concern.

I was shocked to read CityTram's Robocar Progress Report. It turns out that driverless cars are having a much higher accident rate than driven cars. Why is this acceptable? The general public is surely not aware they are being exposed to this extra hazard on the road. Why are driverless cars not regulated as strictly as driverless transit? If it is driverless it is, by definition, out of our hands whether the system is publicly owned and operated or not. Then it becomes the government's job to protect us from systemic danger. They seem to be dropping the ball on this one.

As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,

Peter Muller, ATRA President
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Lawrence Joseph Fabian, City Planner, 1945 – 2020
Lawrence (Larry) Joseph Fabian of Roscoe, New York, passed away on February 21, 2020 at the age of 74. Born in Cleveland, OH, he was the son of Henry and Julia (Dulski) Fabian. Larry was the brother of the late Geraldine Pofok, and father of Mitra Fabian, Niora Fabian, and Matthew Fabian.

Other News
2019 RoboCar Progress Report
CityTram's Robocar Progress Report shows shocking accident rates for driverless cars.

PRT closed until further notice, Mountain Line schedule adjustment
The West Virginia University Personal Rapid Transit system will be closed for passenger service until further notice.

In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, University bus shuttles will replace PRT service during this time. Passengers utilizing bus shuttles will experience fewer touchpoints than when riding the PRT service, which will help limit spread.

Take a first glimpse of Dubai’s Sky pod proposed route map
Dubai: Residents and visitors will soon be able to move around Dubai’s busiest districts without having to worry about traffic, while enjoying panoramic views of the city aboard futuristic sky pods.

Dubai unveils plans for electric sky pod network
(CNN) — Travelers in Dubai could soon be enjoying more scenic routes with the addition of aerial vehicles to the public transport network.

Dubai's Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with British company Beemcar to develop driverless pods that would operate above the city traffic.

Note the pencil-thin guideway beams. They seem to indicate a lack of engineering analysis.
Self-driving shuttle company ordered to stop carrying passengers after injury
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has partially suspended the US operations of France’s EasyMile after a passenger in Ohio was injured while riding in one of the company’s self-driving shuttles. EasyMile can continue operating its shuttles while NHTSA investigates, but the company can’t carry any passengers.

This situation makes it very difficult for autonomous shuttles to emerge. There seems to be a lack of clear standards coupled with very high expectations and what seems to be overreaction to a minor incident. Are driverless cars headed for similar issues? All the more reason for PRT suppliers to ensure compliance with appropriate driverless transit (not amusement park) standards.
Another setback for Mountain View's ambitious automated transit plans
Transit study for North Bayshore workers postponed due to workload, short staffing.

For more than a decade, Mountain View residents have been hearing about the city's grand, technology-driven transit plans for getting thousands of employees in and out of North Bayshore during commute hours.

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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