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London Heathrow Pods (PRT) timelapse

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Published on Aug 10, 2013

This is the London Heathrow PRT system by Ultra Global. These pods have a burst of color now, due to advertisements wrapping the vehicles. Some shots are regular speed while others are time lapsed.

On a software side, it is interesting to see the pods position themselves to ensure they are charged up. A pod with a full battery will leave the station with no passengers to allow another pod to begin charging.

During another visit, something telling occurred. I was at Business Parking Station A where there are two bays. There were no pods present in either bay so I hailed a pod using the touch screen requesting a ride to Terminal 5. About 30 seconds later, a vacant pod arrived at the bay next to me, and the doors remained closed. I waited another 30 seconds for a pod to arriving in my bay, but none came. I simply cancelled the pod I requested and stepped over to the other bay, used the touch screen and got in that pod. The empty pod must have been traveling to Station A before I requested a pod and the routing must have been to the left bay. It is very interesting that pods can not change their destination while in route. The ability to change their routing at any time would add to the flexibility of the whole system.

In my video, there is another example of this. There are four pods at Station A; two in the station bays, and two queued on the main track just before the station. When an occupied pod approached and has to drop someone off at the station, both of the queued pods pulled into the station, before leaving. This is another case where changing the destination of a vacant pod while in route would be very beneficial. The occupied pod was slightly delayed while all the parking, and backing up was taking place.

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