Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Back And Forth With skyTran

One of the things we miss about the old days of covering personal rapid transit is the way everything used to be out in the open.

Perhaps an outgrowth of the federally-initiated PRT effort of the Sixties, the leading PRT efforts of the 1990s-Early 2000s welcomed publicity, and actively disseminated the results of their work. That Raytheon was playing with millions in public funds obligated some openness, but that doesn't explain why the private Taxi 2000, and later university spinoff Ultra, was open with the public to varying degrees.

But today's would-be pod transit makers are keeping their cards close to the vest. In some cases the caginess is due to an enterprise not being on the up-and-up (e.g. Maglev Movers, IPERT1, 2, 3), but in most cases the caution arises out of business security. Four, count them, pod transit systems now exist in the world, and the competition to be the fifth might be just that tight.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

MISTER - MISTER - Update 1

Mikosza (top)
and Choromanski

Ollie Mikosza says a well-connected academic stole his PRT design. Guess who's winning.

©MMXV The PRT NewsCenter
We began corresponding with Olgierd "Ollie" Mikosza in 2006, shortly after "MISTER" (Metropolitan Individual System of Transportation on an Elevated Rail), his suspended (vehicle below the guideway) personal rapid transit concept, first came on the scene. With Heathrow Pods and the Masdar City PRT still four years off, Mikosza exuded confidence and optimism that his design would be the one to break through.

In an article in EV World earlier that year, in which Mikosza announced MISTER to the world, he reported already securing letters of intent from interested cities, and that his plans had been endorsed by academic and transportation experts. The engineering, he seemed to say, would be straightforward by comparison.
Artist conception of Mikosza's vehicle

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Plague Of Coffee Pods

I'm a coffee person, I usually start the day with an Americano or three.

For a couple years I've made do with one of Krups' $60 espresso makers. Design-wise it's a disaster: the On light is dim, the basket usually falls out when being emptied, the lid can't be removed from the carafe, and a rubber foot went missing. But its only waste product are the grounds that go into the kitchen compost.

Which is an order of magnitude better than the rampant 'coffee pods' craze featured in yesterday's Seattle Times.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

A great day in Kirkland -- but someone was missing


©MMXIV The PRT NewsCenter

Saturday's Cross Kirkland Corridor Advanced Transportation Symposium ("the Symposium") was, in this participant's estimation, a smashing success in terms of establishing policy gravitas and as a successfully planned and executed event.

Held February 8 at Google's Building B in Kirkland, the Symposium drew federal, state and local lawmakers, business people, transportation officials, and a variety of vendors and activists from the field of high-technology transit, for an all-day program of presentations and panel discussions.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Finding Freely - 3 Updates

Part III of the IPERT series (Updates 2 & 3 May 31, 2014)
©MMXIII The PRT NewsCenter

The International Personal Express Rapid Transit story so far has been defined by what Ivan Workman has voluntarily claimed, contradicted, and contra-contradicted. And that is the problem -- all we know about him and IPERT is what he has chosen to make public.

But what about Roger Freely? When he has had anything to say it has been second hand, passed along to the public by Workman.

Why? Who is Freely? Is he even real? We have determined that he is -- and this is where the trail took us: