U.C. Berkeley announced, Wednesday that it has joined forces with Richmond-based CyberTran International (CTI), Stantec, a global architecture and engineering firm, and a group of small businesses to apply jointly to the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change grant competition. The grant would finance the development of the rapid, Ultra Light Rail Transit (ULRT) system technology pioneered by CTI.
UC Berkeley’s Partners in Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) has decades of experience in the automated vehicle field.
“We can definitely apply our automated vehicle system technology to ULRT,” said researcher Xiao-Yun Lu.
“ULRT has the potential to revolutionize how we travel and commute,” said CTI President Dexter Vizinau. “Automated rail shuttles that travel in a network up to speeds of over 100 mph will reduce the cost of building and maintaining transit systems while greatly increasing convenience and providing an alternative sustainable mode to today’s congested highways and roads, and reducing toxic emissions.”
The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s grant program, launched in June, will award only one grant applicant a year of $100 million. It is a “competition…to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time,” according to the organization’s website.
“Solving society’s most pressing problems isn’t easy, but we believe it can be done,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “Potential solutions may go unnoticed or under resourced and are waiting to be brought to scale. Every three years, we plan to award $100 million to help make one of these solutions a reality. Through 100&Change, we want to inspire, encourage, and support other people’s ideas, here in our hometown Chicago, across the nation and around the world, about how to address major challenges and enable real progress toward a solution.”
“We believe that 100&Change can have a ripple effect beyond what a single $100 million grant enables,” said Cecilia Conrad, MacArthur’s Managing Director leading the competition. “Setting audacious goals is inspiring. Clear evidence of impact can encourage other funders to invest in solvable problems more broadly, and applicants who do not receive the $100 million grant will still receive valuable feedback on and attention to their ideas.”
“These funds will help us to bring this very important technology to market at low, medium and 100-plus miles per hour speed applications. Our team is ably skilled to succeed in introducing this radically innovative and effective technology to the globe,” said Neil Sinclair, CTI’s Chairman. “We are very happy to be teaming with UC Berkeley’s PATH group along with the rest of the team on this project.”
ULRT is a computer operated on-demand and direct-to-destination transit system using individual rail shuttles. Studies have shown the system to cost an order of magnitude less to build and operate. It was originated at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory. The program proposal is a three year $100M project resulting in the completion of the commercialization of the technology. CTI engineers compare ULRT to the Internet. Vehicles travel under computer control to off-line stations based on real time passenger demand. The demand can come from passengers in stations pushing a button, or through smart phone pre-scheduling.
CyberTran International’s offices are located at the UC Berkeley Global Campus Richmond Bay, in Richmond, California. For more information on CyberTran, visit www.cybertran.com. For more information on the 100&Change Competition, click here.
As a matter of disclosure, the publisher of this website is a part owner of a company with a financial interest in CyberTran International, Inc.