Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Friday, December 09, 2005

He LeapFROGs to the wrong conclusion

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

****** is currently obsessed with FROG. Not the amphibian, but the wayfinding system known as Free Ranging On Grid. As usual there's a very high quotient of Bizarre.

It all started when ATS announced its contract with BAA for a PRT at Heathrow Airport. It threw *** into a tizzy.

One of his main Talking Points is that PRT doesn't exist. How would he cope with the Heathrow news? What he settled on is the Egyptian River strategy: denial. Unfortunately for him, the river is flowing through his house of cards.

It goes like this: He noticed that the Dutch company FROG is mentioned in a number of places as providing its eponymously named FROG vehicle navigation and control ("navcon") system for use in ULTra.

Then he noticed that a unit of FROG, 2getthere, makes automated peoplemovers. Naturally, these APMs use the FROG navcon system.

He also keenly observes that 2gt's APMs and ATS's ULTra share some common characteristics: size, doors and four wheels (10/28/05). He erroneously concludes that ULTra must be a copy of 2gt's vehicle.

The "***clusion"? He claims ULTra and FROG are the same! (The Screed, 10/23/05)

Next he claimed that "PRT" cannot be found on the FROG website (#897863).

The ***clusion? ULTra must not be PRT. Therefore PRT must not exist, QED.

There are two problems with this "theory":

The obvious one: FROG is a navcon component, not a vehicle. Having FROG in common does not make ULTra and 2gt the same.

The second one: "PRT" is mentioned on frog.nl.

For FROG, PRT is a mode. They advertise their Cybercab APM as having a PRT mode.

There is also a third, bigger problem for ***. ATS doesn't use FROG in ULTra anymore, and hasn't for two years. ATS developed the current navcon system in-house, which has operated ULTra test vehicles for the past two years with no failures. It was this configuration of ULTra that was approved by the UK rail safety agency, and is now being prepared for installation at Heathrow Airport.

*** could have avoided jumping to yet another embarrassing, erroneous conclusion. He could have done what I did. He could have just asked them.

So to sum up:

FROG-- a company; a navigation/control system
Cybercab-- an APM with PRT mode
ULTra-- PRT; not FROG; used to use FROG; now uses a navcon system of its own design.
PRT-- exists.
Te-- a drink with jam and bread.
Which brings us back to...

"PRT Is a Joke" Is a Joke!

Details: gPRT's ULTra intel


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