In a recent presentation at the Podcar City 8 conference in Arlandal, Sweden, a new Chinese company called Tubenet Transit described their new PRT system, and how it could be used to accelerate eco-restoration and urban reforestation. As the name suggests, the pods run inside of a tube with guide rails above the pod, and a support surface below. The top of the tube is covered in solar panels. The bubble-shaped pod is only two meters long, with an empty weigh of 150 kg (330 pounds), and a carrying capacity of 250 kg (550 pounds), seating two adults and one child. (Remember China’s “One Child Policy”?) They described three tiers of guideways, supporting speeds of 40, 60, and 80 km/h (25, 37, and 50 mph).
The seventh in the series of Podcar City conferences was held October 23-25, 2013 in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Arlington, Virginia. I previously attended the first conference in Uppsala in 2007 and the fourth in San José, California in 2010. The name for these meetings is a play on the “Car City Conference” held in Sweden in the 1950s to assess how Swedish cities would have to change to accommodate the shift from public transit to the automobile. The International Institute for Sustainable Transportation decided it was time for us to start thinking about how cities will adapt to the new Automated Transit Networks, known as Podcars in Sweden. Continue reading
The bi-annual Conference on Automated People Movers and Automated Transit Systems was held this year in Phoenix, Arizona. While this conference has traditionally been targeted at builders and operators of large Automated People Movers, there seems to be a growing realization within this community that the next step in the evolution of automated transit is to smaller vehicles that provide point-to-point, on-demand service. With that in mind, here is a recap of some of the conference highlights.
On November 12, 2009 about 200 people met at the Brown Chapel of Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego to discuss the future of transit in the area. The event was organized by the Design Innovation Institute and sponsored by the Center for Urban Infrastructure (www.c-u-i.org), Qualcomm (one of the largest employers in the area), the San Diego Association of Governments (www.sandag.org), Advanced Transit Systems, LTD (www.atsltd.co.uk), and others.