Podcars - climate friendly transportation - to be presented at the UN climate event, december 12 at 3 PM, Bella Center, Hall 6, ICLEI office

Pressmeddelande   •   Dec 01, 2009 08:30 CET

Podcars (or PRT) – a climate friendly and modern transportation
, will be presented at the UN COP 15 climate event in
Copenhagen december 12 at 3 pm, Hall 6, ICLEI LOUNGE, Bella Center.

Having participated in and organised the international
Podcar City - transportation and climat change, dec 8-10 in Malmö,
the Local Government network KOMPASS, gives a presentation
the UN Bella Center for media, delegates and other interested.

Location: see map

Short Background:

Podcars/PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) represents a supplement and
potential alternative to existing transportation modes, private or public.
Traditional public transport systems have difficulties in attracting
car owners to leave their cars at home. So new aproaches are much
needed, since transportation causes 1/3 of the greenhouse gases.

Local governments can act as promoters of the podcar/PRT development
The local government network KOMPASS, originated in Sweden, is
spreading information, exchanging experiences and promote financing
of pilot tracks. The presence at the UN climate summit is one example.
The network is party, politically and vendor independent.

Podcars exist now. They are being built now at Heathrow and Masdar
in Abu Dhabi.  In Sweden the local interest is strong. Some 30 municipalities
expressed interest when national investigator searched suitable places
for podcar pilot tracks. Now four are selected.

More info:

Hans Lindqvist, chairman KOMPASS, hans@podcar.org +46 (0) 70 548 58 19
Britta Eskils, co-ordinator, britta@podcar.org +46 (0) 70 936 03 64
Per Janse, co-ordinator, per@podcar.org +46 (0)70 666 42 50

More at: www.podcar.org/kompass

More Background:

The present transportation situation is unsustainable.
This depends to a large extent on a very resource demanding
and climate hazardous private car system. Considering ways
out of this, one serious problem is, that the traditional public
transportation systems have not managed so well, to attract
the car owners to abstain from their cars.

That is why the Podcar or PRT alternatives have raised more
and more attention lately. The whole concept is developing
rapidly, much due to the new information technology. It has
been called the ”Mobility of Internet”.

The podcar system means small electrically powered, driverless
vehicles running on tracks above ground. Podcars are electrically
driven. Since the wagons usually have no motors inside (the power
comes from the track) and are driverless, they are lighter and
demands less energy.

The podcars are waiting for the passengers and are going
directly to their destination without stopping at any other stations
in between. This enables a fast trip, but due to a moderate speed,
it is not nescessary with slowing and increasing speed, which is also
less energy demanding. They are also only running when in use and
when carrying passengers, contrary to traditional public transport
that sometimes run without passengers.

There is a prehistory of podcars with systems that are clumsier and
less flexible. The most wellknown example is the system in Morgantown
that has not developed the full potential of the concept (fewer loops etc),
yet to the satisfaction of its users and it is still running since the 70s,
after about 60 million trips, without accidents!

Nowadays there has been a rapid development and modernisation of
the concept, much fostered by IT. There is a smaller podcar test track
in Uppsala since 2007. Some pilot tracks will be underway within a year,
notably Heathrow Airport, London, and Masdar in Abu Dhabi.

There are at present some ten vendors of podcar systems and a growing
municipal interest, particularly in Sweden. The network KOMPASS, formed
by municipalities, exchange experiences, spread information, aggregate
power and purchasing skills.

Partly due to the local interest, a national investigation about podcars was
ordered by the Swedish ministry of Infrastructure. It was lead by Kjell
Dahlström and resulted rescently in spotting four places in the country of
particular interest for podcar pilot tracks, out of 12 other interesting sites,
selected from 29 suggestions sent to the investigator.

- Network of local governments promoting podcars and sustainable transportation.