Riding Heathrow’s PRT

Personal Rapid Transit systems have been built around the world since the early 1960’s. In their essence they are designed to solve complex local transportation problems. Many PRT’s system designs exist, and differ in all major subsystems including car designs, rails structures and drive systems. A successful design brings many advantages on the aspects of environment, safety and contribution to local economy.


In my last visit to London I’ve had the opportunity to ride Heathrow’s PRT system. The system brings passengers from the airport’s terminal 5 to a business parking. Built by British “Ultra”, The system comprises of 22 battery powered cars, driving on 3.8 km of elevated guideways.


On December 2012 the 500,000 passenger rode the system in just 18 month of operation and it is considered to be a great successes by both Ultra and the airport’s operator.


The riding experience is very good, and I’ve enjoyed enormously the automated driverless feel. I didn’t wait at all ,and could enjoy several rides sitting by myself in the car. The cars external and interior designs are settle and comfortable, the stations are well designed and are easy to understand and use, however the track structure lacks the futuristic edge such system deserves.


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Inside the Google self driving car (video)

This video is a part of an ongoing search for new and exiting technologies for the transportation systems of the future. It was taken at Singularity University campus (NASA Ames) during the graduate summer program (GSP) 2012.


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“The Flying Car is near”

“The Idea of a Flying car is not new; ever since we have developed airplanes and cars, people tried to combine them into one coherent vehicle that will take us from place to place”.

Watch the “Flying Car is near” presentation as presented by Michel David at Singularity university, August 16 2012

Presentation slides in PDF format : The-Flying-car-is-near_Michel-David_003

For more information about the Flying Car research, please check out: http://thecriticaltechnologist.wordpress.com/flying-car/                                                                 or contact : Michel.david@helixator.com

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In the Google Self-driving Car

One of the most prominent technologies being developed at the moment for the Future of transportation is the Google self driving car. This special project fosters the development of Driverless car, where a robotic system using sets of spatial sensors and highly sophisticated computing methods, drives the car better and safer then human drivers.

I got lucky to the point i got to examine one of these unique machines during my summer studies at Singularity university at NASA Ames research center.

Here is a short collection of photos of the Driverless car and me


 After this experience, I really hope to see these machines hitting the road soon.

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Helixator goes to the Future

Helixator CTO , Michel David, wins prestigious scholarship to Singularity university from the Ramon foundation.
The prize was won after a multistage competition that included presentations of Helixator, company and technology. It was handed to him by Mrs.Rona Ramon, founder of the Ramon foundation, in memory of  deceased first Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon and pilot Asaf Ramon.
Presentation at the Singularity convention and competition in Israel.
The Singularity university, founded by NASA ,Google and others, intends to assemble, educate and inspire leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of the exponentially advancing technologies of the future.
See winners on the  Ramon Breakthrough website 
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More about the High speed Helixators

The high speed Helixator is a combination of emerging technologies and existing inventions into a machine for continuous vertical transport.
The Helixator technology is flexible to the point it can be developed with any of the several existing acceleration methods, the figures presented in the next paragraph emerge from those machines statistics. People boarding the High speed Helixator would travel at an estimated speed of 12 km/h (vertical speed 1m/sec) crossing a floor every 5 seconds and a twenty story building in just a minute and a half.
It has an estimated capacity of 14,500 p.p.h in every direction and there is no waiting time as in elevators. When applying the high speed Helixator to large buildings, in a transfer lobby manner, it reduces the number of elevators needed, the total capacity of travelers rises and floor space is gained.

High speed Helixator boarding segments

The scheme of the high speed Helixator is in fact the final sum of a complex mathematical equation consisting all factors involved in traveling upon a machine of this kind. The travelers trajectory upon the machine is a unique three-dimensional form summing all forces applied on travelers in order not to exceed acceptable accelerations and to achieve maximum safety.

Determining and constructing the machines form was a unique challenge in the development of the High speed Helixator geometry. The form chosen eventually was built from two of its derivative; at first a spiral determined by the maximum acceptable side acceleration that was later projected on a hyperbolic rotation which corresponded with the desired vertical acceleration rate. The combination of the two forms created a third form which sums the dynamic properties of traveling upon this machine and present a new kind of movement for our contemporary world.

This model hight is 100 meter, carrying 28,000 people per hour in every direction.

Posted in Architecture, future, Helical escalators, Helixator, Moving walkways, Technology | 8 Comments

Escalators for the poors

As discussed in the past, there is a direct link between accessible transportation and poverty -The solution that the Helixator team suggest is connecting inner favels to the main roads by Helixator line in order to make social progress and economic development. https://helixator.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/a-new-way-to-reduce-poverty/

It has been recently reported that the city of Medellin, Colombia has a solution to the mobility problem; a giant, outdoor public escalator.
For generations, residents of the Colombian town had to staggered up steep hillsides and  hundreds of large steps – the equivalent of a 28-story building to go from one part of town to another. A giant, outdoor public escalator that shortens a hard climb from 35 minutes
To a convenient 6 minutes is now in place.

Take a look:

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