Robotic Personal Transportation System

We all know about mass transit systems like buses and trains but how about a personal transit system which can drive several passengers over a relatively short distance quickly and at a high frequency. The British company ATS (Advanced Transport Systems) created a robotic transport system named ULTra (Urban Light Transport) which can carry up to four passengers at a time to a distance of several kilometers.

The ULTra vehicle will be powered by a battery pack providing an average 2KW of motive power. The ULTra travels at 25 mph (40 km/h) and for a typical 1 mile (1.6 km) journey, the time taken is approximately 3 minutes. According to ATS, cars in cities average 12 mph (20 km/h) taking five minutes to travel a mile. ULTra is nearly twice as fast as a car and about three times as quick as a bus.  

ULTra will probably not replace most cars and buses but it might help in places where passengers need to move quickly between two points. Airports are a good example and ATS is currently building its first system at Heatrow between the passenger car parks and the central terminal area. The Heatrow ULTra project should be ready within a year and will include 78 vehicles moving between 27 stations and transporting approximately 10,000 passengers daily. 

ULTra isn’t cheap, estimations show that it will cost between 6 and 10 million dollars per kilometer to build. However since it does not require a driver and has relatively low overall maintenance costs, it can be a useful solution for future projects requiring short range quick transport system.  

Several videos and more information can be found on ATS ULTra website.

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