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There are three major demonstrations within the CityMobil project the Heathrow PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) is explained below.

Heathrow PRT (Personal Rapid Transit)


The PRT system wil be connecting the business car park to the new Terminal 5. Terminal was opened in March 2008. The full PRT system has been tested as of July 2009 and is expected to be fully operational in Autumn 2009. 
This comprises of 3.9km of mainly elevated 2m wide guideway, with two parallel tracks along most of its length between car park and Terminal, as shown in the cross-section of Figure 2.   There will be four two-berth stations within the park, and passengers arriving here will call for a vehicle, which they will occupy in the same group in which they arrived by car, ie with their travelling companions or alone.  For this pilot, the only destination on offer at the touch-sensitive terminal in the stations will be Terminal 5 Departures Lounge, but if the Pilot Scheme is successful BAA intend to roll PRT out to serve the whole north side of the airport, and through the access tunnel to the Central Terminal Area, where the existing Terminals 1, 2 and 3 will be redeveloped into two new Terminals.  At that point, the station terminals will offer a range of destination stations.  Passengers returning from Terminal 5 will select the appropriate car-park station.

Heathrow animation
Figure 1 - Computer animation of the ULTra system, to be installed at Heathrow airport at Terminal 5.

Heathrow Case Study

The system to be installed at Heathrow is "ULTra", developed by Advanced Transport Systems of Thornbury, UK.  The four-seater vehicles are the size of a small car, powered by electric motors running from lead-acid batteries, with four rubber-tyred wheels running on a 2 metre-wide concrete or metal track.  Batteries are recharged in the stations.  Maximum running speed is 40kph, and vehicles can climb a 10% gradient and negotiate 5m radii.
Figure 2 - Photogallary of the Heathrow large demonstration.