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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Terrifying Misrepresentation!!!

Today Ken Avidor the Laffable Luddite is back, and he's in fine Jell-O-like form.

"VIDEO: Heathrow T5 Personal Rapid Transit Pod Customer Service: " Truly Shameless"
Pod promoters always downplay the possibility of failures for PRT. The fact is failure can happen with any mechanical system. What is especially terrifying for a passenger is to experience a failure without any human available to explain what is going on.
"Video"! "Shameless"! "Failure can happen"! "Especially terrifying"!

Ken then shows you the video. Of a man terrifyingly* stuck at the Terminal 5 pod STATION, trying to speak with Customer Service but not getting satisfaction, which "PRT is a Joke IS A JOKE" is certain must never happen in any other everyday situation in the whole wide world already.
OH THE HUMANITY! Frame from the terrifying video of the terrifying Heathrow Terminal 5 pod station. At any time they might have walked next door for a snack (although I hear Gordon Ramsay kitchens can be nightmares) while the problem was being resolved.

"Pod promoters" don't really "downplay" failures, either. In fact, they speak and write extensively on how they try to design their system with backup components to reduce the odds of failure. Maybe that makes them sound overconfident, but they certainly don't "downplay."

In addition, it's hard to make sense of the source blogger's complaint:
We had to listen to a voice hiding behind the screen, who after a while stopped picking up the help phone also. 

As though he expected an airport representative to be crouched behind the little kiosk. We don't even know why the pods appeared to be not in operation.

But the blogger does make it clear that:
Its [sic] not bad that it failed, because these things do fail, what was worse was that they refused to send anybody down for the 20 minutes it was out of order. 

The complaint was about Customer Service (the human factor), NOT the Ultra PRT technology. And at 20 minutes in duration, a decidedly minor complaint.


Update 1: Robert Llewellyn's Fully Charged -- "About 90%" of Heathrow Pod users have pushed the :) button.

^ *So terrified he had the presence of mind to record the video