In Motion Vol 28 No 2 - Fall 2021

President’s Column

300R) to expand the fleet and eventually replace the existing fleet. The City has started discussions on upgrades to the SkyTrain’s communications and train control systems, which are approaching their design life. These capital projects have required a high level of coordination with the stakeholders, consultants (WSP/ Lea+Elliott) and system suppliers (Alstom/MHI).

Small technology autonomous shuttles coming to airports worldwide

Various large airports are studying short-stretch autonomous options to plan for customer expectations for the

future—expectations that continue to rise as autonomous vehicles become mainstream. Eventually, small technology vehicles may be integrated into airports of all sizes to move not only people, but also, food, luggage and other products and deliveries. Today, there are alternatives available for cost-effective systems for lower demand scenarios involving 500 to 1,500 passengers per hour/per direction, and these smaller vehicle technologies are quickly evolving. Personal rapid transit systems are in service in the UAE, UK, South Korea and China. Pilot projects for autonomous shuttles are in progress in Lake Nona, FL and National Harbor, MD. Group rapid transit shuttles are in service in the Netherlands and projects are in the development phase for use in Belgium and Germany. These smaller technologies show great promise, particularly for landside applications that don’t require high- capacity systems. They can definitely provide alternatives for airports and other venues worldwide where shuttling a few people at a time makes sense. Some can offer single car fleets to provide flexible service; all are cost effective for lower demand scenarios; and, for each option, it is easier to mitigate impacts to the built-up environment. Airport operators of facilities large and small continue to reach out to us for our opinions on people moving technologies that would be appropriate for their airports and I believe we’ll see this small technology sector grow substantially in the next 10 years. If you have questions about the available systems and upcoming automated people moving technologies, give us a call. We’ll be glad to tell you more.

Rendering of ATL INNOVIA 300R vehicle Image credit: Alstom


Jack Norton President/CEO


Vol. 28 No 2

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