July 2020
From the President
Greetings! why not subdivide a 4- or 6-passenger vehicle into two with moveable plexiglass (so wheelchairs still fit)? Then passengers seated in front could enter/exit separately from those seated in the back. Each group could either be traveling together, agree to share or perhaps pay extra to be alone. Station entry could be only once the vehicle is soon to be available. Social distancing is possible in public transit!

That said, it is difficult to understand why the Morgantown PRT system seems to be shutting down rather than buses over virus concerns. It seems to me the PRT could operate with fewer passengers and, in addition, does not expose drivers/operators. Keeping both systems operating should reduce crowding.

As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,

Peter Muller, ATRA President
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Aerotropolis Atlanta CIDs study system of 'podcars' for
better airport area mobility
Visitors and workers in the growing area around Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in future could have a new high-tech means of getting around. The choice will no longer be limited to trains and buses or personal cars; instead, tiny self-driving vehicles could whisk travelers around the area.

PRT down for fall semester, WVU announces
A staple for getting around campus and Morgantown is on hiatus into the near future.

West Virginia University announced Tuesday that the PRT would be shut down for the duration of the fall semester, likely due to social distancing concerns. 

Exploring a faster way to connect Silicon Valley's transportation and employment centers

Can a new transit connection between Mineta San José International Airport (SJC), Diridon Station, and west Santa Clara Valley cities come to life faster and cheaper than conventional approaches? That’s the question several South Bay transportation agencies asked tech, construction, and transit companies through a request for information (RFI) published in July 2019.

This is a good analysis of the RFI responses received by the City of San Jose. 
Navya launches level 4 autonomous shuttle service
Navya has launched a level 4 fully autonomous shuttle service without a safety operator on board.

While this seems like ground-breaking news, the shuttle is operating in a semi-controlled environment. I think 2getthere first did this at Schipol Airport decades ago.
Electric car transit system could be in the works for East Bay city
Small autonomous electric cars running on fixed narrow guideways could shuttle passengers to and from Bay Area BART and Amtrak stations and other locations several years from now, and Oakley could be one of the first cities to test them.

On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved an agreement with Wayfarer, doing business as Glydways Inc., to evaluate the viability of a pilot program in Oakley for the proposed on-demand transit system.

How May Mobility’s autonomous shuttle ambitions backfired
By all appearances, May Mobility was a scrappy success story. The autonomous transportation startup made its debut at Y Combinator’s demo day in 2017, with a team that had been working on driverless tech since the third U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge in 2017. Within the span of a few years, May had a roster of paying customers in Michigan, Ohio, and Rhode Island as it raised tens of millions in venture capital from investors including Toyota and BMW.

This article points out many of the challenges faced by autonomous shuttles. It is interesting to read it while considering which of these challenges also apply to personal rapid transit (PRT).
A dispute surfaces over proposed pod line on Mount Jericho
BERLIN — The owner of 135 acres on Jericho Mountain wants to build a solar-powered podway that will transport tourists to the summit in small four-person pods running on an overhead monorail.

David Brooks of Jericho Mountain Wind Company said he believes the podway would attract thousands of tourists and generate economic activity for the area. Brooks is working on the project with Transit X, a Massachusetts company that has developed the concept of solar-charged pods that would cruise above traffic on a thin rail or micro-guide.

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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