This is a round up of the latest news related Personal Rapid Tramsport and Advanced Transport. If you would like to submit a news item please email

    Podcar City Conference 2018 – Planning Automated Shared Mobility

    September 20th, 2018


    For all details of the conference please see link below:

    PODCAR CITY 2018

    History of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) Year by Year (18)

    September 13th, 2018


    by J. Edward Anderson, first ATRA President.

    1993 – The Eighteenth Year.

    Please click on link below for Year 18 history.

    The History of the Advanced Transit Association Year 18 (1993)

    History of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) Year by Year (17)

    August 27th, 2018


    by J. Edward Anderson, first ATRA President.

    1992 – The Seventeenth Year.

    Please click on link below for Year 17 history.

    The History of the Advanced Transit Association Year 17 (1992)





    PRESS RELEASE – Autonomous vehicles at the Rivium business park score high on safety, security and reliability

    August 22nd, 2018

    2 get there

    Please see link below for latest PRESS RELEASE from 2getthere.

    Autonomous vehicles at the Rivium business park score high on safety, security and reliability 


    Market Failures Continue to Plague Transportation Systems, Depressing Demand for Automated Transit Systems

    August 15th, 2018


    By Christopher Juniper
    9 August 2018

    Governments continue to flail about wrestling with serious market failures associated with transportation – now including New York City’s moratorium on new for-hire vehicle licenses (e.g. Uber, Lyft) which had grown about 60% since 2015 to about 100,000. New licenses will only be issued to drivers providing wheelchair accessible vehicles while the City studies how to successfully regulate the market for 12 months.

    The market failures that dog transportation systems include these four with the most impacts:
    (1) artificially low energy prices (compared to prices that “tell the truth” by including sustainability-related negative externalities);

    (2) absurdly low vehicle registration and use fees (compared to public costs of provided the infrastructure the vehicles need);

    (3) drivers using their presumed marginal operating costs to guide whether to use personal vehicles or not – i.e. thinking that extra mile today costs just a few pennies (e.g. the price of fuel) instead of the real approximately $1/mile costs ; and

    (4) large subsidies for mass transit systems such that customers pay only a small fraction of the actual costs of providing services.

    These market failures combine to suppress the demand and use of highly fuel- and labor efficient automated transit systems. Just as solar and wind energy systems would have been the preferred economic choice decades ago if fossil fuels had to pay their full cost, tax-subsidized mass transit systems, without the tax subsidies, would have been dismantled years ago in favor of driverless automated transit systems that are possibly 5 times less costly per rider (i.e. don’t need the tax subsidies to be financially desirable).

    The sooner governments squarely face these failures and bring more market rationality to people and businesses’ transportation choices, the faster sustainable transportation systems can get built and become the mode of choice for the majority of users.

    The particular market failures now being addressed by New York City include all of the above, plus the swamping of the streets with the new ride providing services that were, for some reason, not limited in number as taxi licenses (medallions) have been. So taxi and ride-providing drivers were set up to be in a competitive economic death struggle that was preventing many from earning a living wage, and tying up streets with congestion. The city’s response includes regulating a minimum hourly wage after operating expenses.

    Uber’s business model has included providing massive subsidies to its drivers in order to out-compete taxis on a cost basis , which can be seen as another market failure – though a commonly used one when a new company aims to achieve market share (and power) on the back of investors. In other words, rides were being offered to riders below cost, artificially and unsustainably over time stimulating use of individual vehicles instead of alternatives. Thus, the artificially increased congestion.

    Governments, including transit agencies, would do well to be reducing market failures and attendant regulatory schemes instead of continue to get “wrapped around the axle” of them as New York City is having to do. Let people pay the full price (including externalities) and see how quickly automated transit systems become the strongly preferred choice of consumers, and budget-beleaguered government officials.



    Emma G. Fitzsimmons, “New York City Votes to Cap Uber and Lyft in a Crackdown,” The New York Times, 8 August 2018, at:

    The “True Cost of Driving” calculator for Santa Cruz County, California estimates the per mile cost of operating a personal vehicle at $0.94 per mile (including travel time and accidents). See: The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated the cost of driving 15,000 miles in one year in a new vehicle to be ~$0.57 cents per mile in 2017 – see:

    See, for example, Reuters, “Uber Reportedly Lost More Than $1 Billion Over the First Half of 2016,” 25 August 2016, at: And Heather Somerville, Reuters, “True price of an Uber ride in question as investors assess firm’s value,” 23 August 2017, at:


    ATRA contributions at the 2018 APM-ATS Conference

    July 22nd, 2018



    My first Automated People-Mover conferences was Las Colinas in 1993. This biannual conference has since been rebranded APM-ATS to clearly also embrace  Automated Transit Systems such as PRT. The 2018 conference took place in Tampa Florida this April-May.

    The Advanced Transit Association contributed in 12 different sessions. ATRA president Peter Muller presented his and my joint paper comparing the business cases of  LRT, GRT and PRT. He also made another presentation on airport inter-terminal train replacement.

    Robbert Lohmann presented progress and plans for 2getthere in Bluewaters Dubai and Rivium Holland and a study on automated vehicles on an airport apron.

    Former ATRA president Stan Young presented a modelling architecture for Automated Mobility districts and moderated a panel on that theme.

    My own presentation described the simulation modelling evolution from PRT to aTaxi. I also moderated a session on New and Emerging Technology including a presentation of TransitX PRT.

    ATRA were represented in four discussion panels including planned updates of the APM standards with the relaxation of the Brick Wall stopping requirement.

    During the final session I had the pleasure of presenting the Award for outstanding contributions to advanced transit. As you know, the award this time honours Prof. J. Edward Anderson for his pioneering PRT research.

    In summary, an interesting conference with important ATRA contributions.

    Ingmar Andreasson



    Robbert Lohmann and Sam Lott on the evening cruise

    Robbert Lohmann and Sam Lott on the evening cruise

    History of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) Year by Year (16)

    July 13th, 2018


    by J. Edward Anderson, first ATRA President.

    1991 – The Sixteenth Year.

    Please click on link below for Year 16 history.

    The History of the Advanced Transit Association Year 16 (1991)

    The Fourth Martin Lowson Paper Award

    June 25th, 2018


    The Fourth Martin Lowson Paper Award
    A visionary, inventor and entrepreneur in modern ATN systems

    ATRA fosters the development of automation and networking to advance the quality and sustainability of transportation, particularly for our urban areas.

    The ATRA academic committee has instituted an annual paper award to recognize contributions in that area. The award, which is donated by the Lowson Familiy, has the objective to recognize high quality, original work that advances the thought and practice of fully-automated networked public-mobility systems.
    The submitted work can consist in a Master thesis or a PhD thesis authored and/or published by students within the last 5 years. To qualify as a student, the person must be enrolled at a degree granting institution either at the time of the authorship or publication/presentation of the work, or time of submittal to the ATRA competition. The work can have been previously published as a paper or have received prior awards. The emphasis in the 2018 award is on Automated Transit Networks toward sustainable urban mobility.

    The best paper will be presented at the Podcar City Conference 2018 (, where the winner receives a $500 reward, in addition to a sponsored conference participation.

    Contact information:

    Rules of the competition:

    1. Submit your thesis or paper to by Friday, September 7, 2018.
    2. ATRA will follow TRB guidelines for a blind peer review and selection process.
    3. The authors will be notified by September 14, 2018.
    4. The winner is required to present her/his work at the Podcar City Conference 2018. The participation at the conference will be free of charge and travel expenses up to $1000 will be refunded. The winner must submit her/his work as a regular paper, following the formatting rules of the conference.
    5. The $500 award is handed over at the Podcar City Conference 2018.
    6. ATRA reserves the right to publish all submitted works on its website

    History of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) Year by Year (15)

    June 17th, 2018


    History of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) Year by Year 

    by J. Edward Anderson, first ATRA President. 

    1990 – The Fifteenth Year. 

    Please click on link below for Year 15 history.

    The History of the Advanced Transit Association Year 15 (1990)

    Yr 15

    Dr. J. Edward Anderson Receives ATRA Award

    May 11th, 2018


    ATRA instituted the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Advanced Transit in honor of individuals who, by their work and commitment, have contributed to the advancement of technology, to the dissemination of knowledge and to public acceptance of advanced transit.

     Nominations were invited from all over the world. The award committee unanimously decided to present this year’s award to Dr. Anderson.

     The motivation reads: “Dr. Anderson has inspired a generation of researchers and industrialists to build on his research to get advanced transit systems developed and proven in public operation.”

     The award is presented every two years in conjunction with the APM-ATS conference. The ceremony took place in Tampa on May 2nd.

     In his acceptance speech Dr. Anderson pointed out other PRT pioneers who inspired him during the early years of advanced transit in the sixties and seventies.