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Archive / Ultra

Ultra was started at Bristol University and originally stood for Urban Light Transport. The first public system began service in 2011 at Heathrow Airport. In 2015 Ultra became part of Heathrow Airport Ltd

Glasgow Airport: Airport-Paisley PRT option revealed. 10-14-2016

"Fairwood Group today said it has teamed up with Ultra PRT of the UK to provide next generation technology-enabled urban mobility systems in India." Which is strange, since Fairwood and Ultra have been working together for at least five years. 8-26-2016

Ultra pods were focus of 3 month STEM education program in Heathrow-area schools 6-1-2016


BBC: "London's first driverless cars revealed" 1-28-2016
...and it's Ultra, modified for street use. The test will take place in the Greenwich Peninsula area (site of O2 Arena) starting in July, as part of Gateway -- 'Greenwich Automated Transport Environment.' The report makes it clear that while the Heathrow Pod's look is familiar (and perhaps comforting choice of "the design we have now"), all-new software, navigation and sensors will be used.
  •ABC News bulletin 1-29-2016
  •Video: Slo-mo test run 5-13-2016


How a space-faring entrepreneur intends to fix Austin's traffic woes Businessman/space tourist/smart guy Richard Garriott partnering with former Texas Lt. Gov Ben Barnes (D) to bring PRT to Austin. 8-13-2015
  • ABJ Poll - Are pods a good idea?
  • Barnes to comment on plan "next week" 8-14-2015
  • Turns heads at city hall 8-17-2015
  • Statesman poll 8-17-2015 At 3 days, plurality say PRT "could be an effective solution". Things to note in Comments on the poll: 1) They're not understanding advantage of high average speed (combined with nonstop travel) over top speed; 2) they're not understanding the concept of aggregate capacity of the network; 3) they're not understanding that 'personal' and 'point to point' MEAN 'nonstop from station to station of your choice' - whether it's 3 stations at Heathrow or dozens of stations in an urban application; 4) they're expecting pods to be good at short urban trips AND longer commuting, whereas the future would still be multimodal.
  • Is Austin ready? 8-18-2015
Austin source tells the NewsCenter the Garriott-Barnes proposal is "fragile but possible"; earlier Garriott pitch ended due to global recession drying up available funds. 8-20-2015



"Stockholm airport proposal elevates runways among city rooftops"
7-13-2015
Transit pods (depicted by Ultra) would also serve as aircraft gates.


"High-tech vision for town's public transport future put forward by business leader" 6-15-2015
PRT like Ultra could link town center of Yeolvil, Somerset, to rail station -- reopen closed town station.

Hands off with Heathrow's autonomous pod cars (BBC). 9-10-2014

Future Airport magazine: "My Pod". 9-2-2014

"Punjab's fairy tale public transport projects" 7-31-2014
Times Of India reviews several Punjab transit projects, confirms the state has trouble implementing anything, whether pods, metro or bus. Noted: Planned pod fare of R40 ($.65) is called too high.

Chief Minister of Haryana (India) tells agency to "get cracking" on Gurgaon project after 3 year delay. 7-8-2014

Materials industry: Heathrow Pod light weight means greater energy efficiency, lower emissions. 6-3-2014

Many kinds of innovation at Railway Industry Association event 4-18-2014

Google expresses support for PRT. 4-9-2014
Mountain View Councilman Inks: PRT not dead yet; Google manager: "We need to have an eye towards PRT systems and self-driving cars that are coming closer to fruition in the U.S. every day."
'Pod car mayor' Kasperzak steers discussion toward existing systems; opponent says airport system like Ultra may not be aesthetically suitable.

All Pod Cons. 4-4-2014
Ultra one of several technologies proposed to connect Glasgow Airport to the town of Paisley (pop. 74,170).
• 11-26-2015: Glasgow-area 'city deal' intergovernmental group exploring rail link. The options are trains on existing rails and new tram tracks, and intermodal train-PRT.
Political battle over project between the cities (Labour) and Scottish government (SNP). 11-26-2015
Transport writer/mayoral candidate wants 3rd option, a heavy rail line part of national network. 11-30-2015
Heavy monorail rejected, planners stick with pod and train-tram options. 5-31-2016

Heathrow cutbacks nix PRT expansion 3-4-2014 View Story

Political controversy now swirls around pod project. 2-26-2014
In January Dep Chief Minister cited 'technical flaws.' Local Congressmen demonstrate -- say 2011 PRT dedication in runup to election "befooled the voters"; allege current Bus Rapid Transit initiative is designed to affect upcoming general election.
• June 2014: BRT project appears to be on track 6-11-2014

Huge Airport, Huge Savings (Heathrow). 2-25-2014
"Passengers consistently give the new transit mode high marks; not surprising given that the pods boast a 99 percent reliability rate, and keep passengers waiting no more 10 to 15 seconds. The pods also consume 70 percent less energy than it takes to power a car and 50 percent less than a bus."

'March of the pods: How design is going egg-shaped' 1-16-14

"Doubtful credibility": Amritsar PRT on 'backburner' as Dep Chief Minister cites doubts about Ultra Fairwood. 1-13-2014
Notes the Tribune: "Besides, the government seems to be in no mood to antagonise traders and other sections which are up in arms against the project ahead of the Lok Sabha poll [general election]."

India Tribune: No movement on PRTS project or 'city bus service'; infrastructure board says pod process still on. 11-18-2013

Not all pods are PRT. 11-15-2013

Despite articles to the contrary (such as), the driverless pods planned for use in Milton Keynes are not by Ultra PRT. Our sources say 2-person EVs ("cars of the future") will be used. And they will be driven like a regular car, only becoming driverless if they prove successful and people get used to them being on the streets.

UK Trade & Investment Minister Lord Green visits Heathrow Pod 10-14-2013
Cameron appointee Stephen Green was CEO-Chairman of HSBC at the time of revelations the bank allowed money laundering by drug dealers and terrorists

Amritsar PRT project 'committees' can't get going; Punjab Dep. Chief Minister Sukhbir announces BRT system. 9-9-2013
:: Times of India: Sources- Punjab government may scrap project 9-21-2013

Company official promotes Fairwood projects; Amritsar, Gurgaon and Thiruvananthapuram thumbnailed. 8-12-2013

• Punjab Newsline Network: Deputy Chief Minister's plan for Amritsar PRT called a 'non-starter' due to lack of will from the government, local administration and narrow approach by shopkeepers along the route; "may not be a reality even in the next a few years." 8-5-2013

• In BBC 4 report Is Britain enjoying the wrong kind of growth? Ultra transit pods are held up as an example of the right kind. 7-25-2013

International growth seen 7-17-2013

Martin V. Lowson, 1938-2013. 6-18-2013 View Story


Wall St. Journal India reports: "Driverless Cars to the Golden Temple". 6-10-2013
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"The government of Punjab is expected to rubber stamp the plans imminently"; construction could begin 2013 or 2014; to begin operations mid-2016.

"POD Cars In Heritage City" (Amritsar) 4-8-2013

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