Driverless airport Pods make their London debut
Going to the airport is among my least favorite things. There’s always a weird carpet smell, people are generally jerks, the food sucks and there’s no way to feel comfortable in those crappy, plastic waiting area seats. Then, once you actually arrive at your destination, you have to wait forever for a shuttle bus to come and jerkily transport you to a rental car while your duffel bag strap digs into your shoulder. But thanks to a fancy new invention by Advanced Transport Systems, the last part of this otherwise totally annoying process is getting kind of awesome, dare I say fun?
Last week, Heathrow Airport unveiled its ULTra Personal Pod Cars, a fleet of small, bus-like vehicles that can seat up to four passengers. Running along a network of tiny narrow roads, the Pod Cars are fully automated, make no additional stops and take 60% less time to reach the Heathrow car park than the hundreds of loud, inefficient buses they’re replacing. They’re also completely battery-powered, making them much more eco-friendly.
India has already announced plans to launch a similar transportation program in Delhi, and tests are in progress Stateside in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’d like to petition Mayor Bloomberg to get one of these babies set up in Brooklyn. You could probably lay the first half mile of track in the amount of time it takes for the G train to arrive.