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    ULTra Personal Rapid Transit Vehicle - Test Day; Heathrow Airport

    ULTra PRT is required to perform a number of specific demonstrations of the performance of the ULTra System at Heathrow to show how it deals with a number of different operating scenarios. This video shows one of the early demonstrations of the system, conducted in mid-March.

    The purpose of this trial was to test the ability of the ULTra station at the Terminal 5 multi-story car park (MSCP5) to handle a large influx of passengers arriving simultaneously. To simulate the mix of well-seasoned travellers who were familiar with the ULTra system, staff members from ULTra PRT accompanied passengers in every vehicle. The system was able to clear all 48 passengers in under 5 minutes thus easily meeting the maximum expected.

    With the further enhancements that are being implemented this will reduce to three and a half minutes. Hence the station will be able to serve as many as 800 passengers per hour -- equivalent to a coach arriving every three to four minutes -- far more traffic than is currently anticipated. This excess capacity allows the station to serve passengers quickly, even when they arrive as part of large groups, and to accommodate the future growth of passenger traffic at the airport.

    Despite its high capacity, the station at MSCP5 was primarily designed to fit into an existing parking structure with minimum impact upon the car park. With more capacity-oriented designs, ULTra stations can accommodate passenger flows at twice the rate of the MSCP5 station. The operating principles remain the same however, and these have been validated by the testing experience at Heathrow.

    In addition to testing the system performance with large groups of knowledgeable passengers, ULTra PRT is also conducting demonstrations under various emergency scenarios and adverse conditions as well as for what are known as non-standard use cases situations where passengers have particular specialist needs or seek to use the ULTra System in an unexpected manner. This comprehensive test programme will ensure that the ULTra system provides a reliable, user-friendly, high-quality service from the very first day of public operation.

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