Conventional forms of public transit require passengers to collect in groups, wait until a large vehicle with a fixed schedule arrives and travel on a predetermined route, stopping for additional passengers on the way. An Ultra pod is different, offering personal transport with no waiting and taking groups of passengers, or individuals, non-stop to their chosen destination.
The system has an average energy usage of only 0.55 MJ per passenger km, typically providing at least a 50% benefit over buses and trains, and a 70% savings in emissions over cars.
Measurements taken during a series of vehicle drive-by tests found that at a distance of 10 meters, a pod running at 14mph produced noise levels of around 35 decibels – less than the background noise expected in a library.
Ultra’s infrastructure is significantly lighter compared to road or rail-based transport and is between six and ten times more resource efficient. The low loading requirements are less than half of those necessary for the standard British footpath, enabling a slender guideway design with minimal visual impact.
This makes the system inexpensive to install compared to larger-vehicle systems with much heavier infrastructure requirements.