Landmark week for the Heathrow pod: 2nd Anniversary followed by the system’s millionth driverless mile

It has been an exciting week for Ultra Global with the Company’s Heathrow Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system reaching a number of notable landmarks. On Wednesday 8th May Heathrow Pod celebrated reaching its 2nd anniversary of full passenger operations followed the next day by news that the vehicles had completed their one-millionth driverless mile.

The system that has been hugely popular with Heathrow’s passengers began operations in May 2011 and has carried 700,000 passengers to date from the Terminal 5 Business Car Park across to Terminal 5 itself. Having removed 140,000 bus journeys from Heathrow’s congested roads and having saved 400 tonnes of carbon emissions the system has been a phenomenal success for Ultra, Heathrow and most importantly the airport’s passengers.

The huge success at Heathrow is now encouraging interest from the UK and across the rest of the world. With PRT now a proven, reliable and attractive option, a number of similar but much larger systems are now being considered in a number of locations including Amritsar, Northern India and Florianopolis, Brazil in addition to second system that Heathrow Airport plan to implement at Terminals 2 and 3.

Upon reaching the 2nd Anniversary, Ultra’s Managing Director Fraser Brown commented, ‘We are delighted to have reached our second year of operation, we are now an established member of the Heathrow transport offering and the tremendous success of the system at Heathrow highlights the huge benefits in personal rapid transit to reliably and efficiently deliver a personal, direct and on-demand service particularly in areas where there are problems with last mile connectivity.’

Ultra Global’s founder Martin Lowson, who started the company in 1995, commented ‘It is extremely satisfying, and testimony to the dedicated work of the whole Ultra team, to reach one million miles, fully driverless and two years full passenger service. Most satisfying of all is that the pod continues to delight its users.’

Ultra Global is looking forward to an exciting 2013 with a number of potential new systems being explored and with the Heathrow system expected to be close to carrying its 1 millionth passenger by the end of the year.


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