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                 May 2016 
From the President....
Greetings!  
Peter Muller
 
Last month I mentioned a new ATN procurement in India, this month there is news of a probable ATN procurement in Toronto. The Toronto Zoo has received an unsolicited proposal from Magnovate for an ATN system to utilize the abandoned monorail track. The Zoo plans to solicit proposals from other suppliers under a Swiss Challenge type of arrangement. Together with the GSP Airport procurement that is about one a month for the last three months - it would be great if that pace could be sustained!
The ASCE APM and Automated Transit System Conference was held in Toronto last month and was very successful. There were about eleven ATN-focused presentations including the presentation of the ATRA Award for Outstanding Contributions to Advanced Transit to Dr Jerry B. Schneider.
ATRA's suggestions to the ASCE APM Standards Committee for proposed modifications to make the Standard more applicable to ATN were well received with some changes being adopted immediately. Most of the changes will, however, require considerable work to develop, propose and negotiate revised language that continues to meet the original intent while also being adaptable to ATN systems.
ATRA plans to take a more active role in the next Podcar City Conference tentatively scheduled for September 18 - 20 in Antwerp - mark your calendars!
As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,

Peter Muller, P.E., ATRA President
ATRA NEWS
ATRA Award For Outstanding Contributions To Advanced Transit

At the ASCE Automated People Mover and Automated Transit System Conference in Toronto on April 20, 2016, Dr. Ingmar Andreasson, ATRA VP, presented the above award to Dr. Jerry B. Schneider for creating the world's leading source of information on innovative transit technologies, thereby attracting interest in transit solutions for livable cities and a better world.

His website "Innovative Transportation Technologies" describes all kinds of PRT/GRT/ATN/DualMode systems together with relevant papers, reports and presentations. It attracts more than 16,000 visits each day, has three times been ranked among the top 50 of all websites, and now contains over 650 megabytes in over 2 700 files.


OTHER NEWS
Toronto Zoo Considers New Train Technology to Replace the Old Monorail
By Anda Zeng
Robin Hale, the Toronto Zoo's chief operating officer, remembers riding the Domain Ride and is often asked whether the Zoo plans to bring it back. Better known as the monorail, the distinctive ride opened with the Zoo in 1976 and travelled along a 5-kilometre concrete guideway in a loop around the grounds. But after a couple of severe accidents in the early 90s and financial inability to ensure its safety, the Zoo closed the ride. Now, more than 20 years later, the Zoo is considering bringing back the monorail, complete with some significant, notably futuristic, upgrades. Read More...

These futuristic flying pods could make driving history
By Tim Smith
Imagine if instead of wasting hours in traffic, you could  one day fly above it for a price only slightly higher than a subway ride. That's the idea behind SkyTran, a self-driving monorail designed to hover 20 feet above roads and travel up to 155 mph. The system would turn a two-hour car commute into a 10-minute trip, SkyTran CEO Jerry Sanders tells Tech Insider. 
The company just announced that it will launch its first-ever track in Lagos, Nigeria by 2020. The World Bank commissioned Systra, a global transportation consulting firm, to find a railway that could help alleviate traffic in the city, and SkyTran was chosen. Read More...

Dutch firm in SMRT deal may have money woes

By Christopher Tan
The Dutch company which transport operator SMRT joined hands with two weeks ago to provide automated shuttle services may be in financial difficulty. Checks by The Straits Times revealed that 2getthere and its driverless freight-moving unit, Frog, had applied for insolvency in April 2007. The company, led by Mr Carel van Helsdingen, has since been looking for financial backers. Read More...

Richard Garriott hoping to build elevated personal transit in Austin
By Casey Claiborne
Richard Garriott or "Lord British" as he's lovingly called in the tech community started creating video games in Austin decades ago.  "If I could really take some time off to get involved in civic projects right now, transportation would be a good one to solve," he said. So what he's proposing is called Personal Rapid Transit. "Imagine a golf cart that is enclosed.  It has air conditioning, it runs on batteries and it's computer-controlled," Garriott said. Built on elevated guideways throughout the city, the way it works is pretty simple.  Read More...

SkyTran closes bridge loan tied to $30 mln Series B financing
By Robert Daniel
SkyTran, developer of elevated and levitating high-speed rapid-transit systems for people and cargo, closed a Series B financing agreement. In a statement skyTran, based in NASA Research Park at Moffett Field, California, said the accord entailed "execution of a bridge loan tied to a $30 million Series B commitment." The deal, negotiated and managed by Verita Merchant Bank of Hong Kong, enables skyTran to continue sales efforts and introduce the system worldwide. The company has demo systems in place at the NASA park and in Israel. SkyTran also has backing from Innovation Endeavors, the private venture-capital arm ofGoogle Chairman Eric Schmidt. Read More... 

Driverless 'pods' may run here soon
By Adrian Lim
Driverless "pods" ferrying passengers within private estates, university campuses and business parks could arrive in a big way, with a new joint venture announced yesterday. Local transport operator SMRT and Netherlands-based 2getthere have formed 2getthere Asia - an outfit to bring such automated vehicle systems into Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region. The joint venture is 51 per cent owned by SMRT and 49 per cent by 2getthere. Read More...

NHAI seeks land from Haryana govt for Gurgaon's pod taxi project
By 
Abhishek Behl
The much-hyped pod taxi project, which has been in the pipeline for almost a decade, is taking concrete shape with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) seeking land from Haryana to set up the personal rapid transport system.
Recently, the highways authority had invited bids for setting up the pod taxi project on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis (DBFOT).
The project was envisaged by the erstwhile Bhupinder Singh Hooda government and is yet to be implemented. Read More...
 
skyTran System for Lagos, Nigeria
By PR Rocket
skyTran´┐Ż Inc., headquartered at NASA Research Park and NataZone Ltd. announced their intention to build a 40+ KM system in Lagos, Nigeria. The system's implementation, initially for the Yellow Line of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), will become part of a Lagos-wide new transportation network as a first step towards continued expansion in Lagos, Nigeria and the rest of Africa. It provides skyTran with an important foothold in the awakening Africa transportation sector, and joins other skyTran initiatives in India, Israel, France, and the USA. Read More...

Singapore to roll out automated transit pods
By Alice MacGregor
Following the recent announcement that Singapore will begin testing autonomous taxis on its roads, public transport operator SMRT has detailed its plans to roll out driverless transit systems by the end of 2016. Partnering with automated travel company2getthere, SMRT is looking to introduce Group Rapid Transit (GRT) 'pods' onto Singapore's roads. The vehicles can carry up to 24 passengers each and, according to SMRT, will offer a low-cost, automated transport solution with the capacity to cater for as many as 8,000 passengers per hour. Read More...

These futuristic driverless pods will run on Singapore's roads by end of the year
By Victoria Ho
SINGAPORE - Before the year is up, Singaporeans could be hopping on these driverless pod vehicles to get to school and work. The pods run on electricity, and are able to travel autonomously on smaller roads, such as those within a gated community or school campus.Read More...

2GETTHERE ASIA JOINT VENTURE
SMRT Services Pte. Ltd. (SMRT Services) and 2 Getthere Holding B.V. (2getthere) today announced a Joint Venture (JV) to market, supply and operate 2getthere's Automated Vehicle systems in the Asia-Pacific region. In anticipation of the growing demand in the Asia-Pacific region for Automated Vehicles, SMRT Services and 2getthere are also working to deepen our strategic relationship with the view to better support the latter's development and growth. Read More...

Proposed GSP pod car system would be a first
By Rudolph Bell
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport is soliciting bids for a pod car transit system that would be the first of its kind at a U.S. airport and the sixth such system in the world, according to experts. The proposed Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system - if it gets built - would carry passengers between GSP's economy parking lot and the airport terminal building. Passengers would ride in driverless, computer-controlled pod cars along a dedicated guideway that would be nearly 14 feet high in places. Read More...

Edmonton company might soon bring monorail back to the Toronto zoo
By Mack Lamoureux
Monorail - which is exactly what Magnovate, an Edmonton-based transit tech startup, wants to bring to the Toronto Zoo. In particular, they want to build the first train in North America using magnetic levitation (meg-lev) transit technology. The company submitted an unsolicited proposal to build the line at the Toronto Zoo, with the hope of showcasing their technology. As an added benefit, the Zoo already has infrastructure to build off and improve so there's not a chance the tracks would bend. Read More...

An Indian city is getting driverless taxi pods that travel above the street

By Chris Weller
In an Indian city that hasn't had a functioning government in 40 years (these days, it's run mostly by corporations), federal oversight from New Delhi is finally relieving some of the burden - with driverless taxi pods. In 2001, Gurgaon, India had 173,000 people. Today, it's nearing one million. All those extra people have made traveling on roadways incredibly difficult, to the point where the government sees leaving the roads altogether as one of the only immediate solutions. That's where the Metrino personal rapid transit (PRT) pods come in. Read More...

Union Govt approves India's first pod taxi project in Gurgaon
By Indiatoday
The Union Government has given nod for setting up India's first personal rapid transit (PRT) network for Gurgaon, Haryana.  As per the reports, the groundwork to roll the country's first Metrino Pod project is being laid by the National Highways Authority of India. The final approval of the project by the government was recently announced by Public Works (Building and Roads) Minister, Rao Narbir Singh. Read More...

NHAI starts work on first phase of pod transport
BY Rao Jaswant Singh
Gurgaon: Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), the proposed pod taxi service between Sirhaul and Rajiv Chowk in Gurgaon, could soon become a reality, after NHAI presented a feasibility report of the project and invited expressions of interest (EOI) from international agencies, including the favourite Metrino of Poland, to start work on it. Read More...

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.

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May 2016 - In this Issue
Letter from the President
ATRA News
Other News
Website Updates
Upcoming Conferences


Website Updates

2016 Membership Renewals Due Now!

PodcarCity9 Session Papers and Videos available.

Articles:
-Advanced Transit Systems
-Innovating Automated Transit Technology

The Second Martin Lowson Paper Award
Now accepting your thesis or paper, due August 16, 2016
Winner will receive $500 and present her/his work at the Podcar City Conference 2016  Read More...

View our Website for the latest  ATRA news updates.


Upcoming Conferences

Automated Vehicle Policy and Regulation - A State Perspective Workshop
18 May, 2016 
College Park, MD

19-21 July, 2016
San Francisco, CA,USA

October 14th-15th 
Southern Illinois University

2016 Podcar City Conference
Sept 18-20
Antwerp
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