The future of public transport has arrived with UK’s Heathrow Airport rolling out driverless travel pods to transport passengers between terminals and the airport car park. The world’s first fully-automated ULTra Personal Pod cars, designed by Advanced Transport Systems, run on their own network and can reach speeds up to 40km/h.
The pods can transport four passengers and their luggage at a time, and waiting times will not exceed one minute. Promoted as being immune to accidents and traffic jams, using thinner roads and requiring no drivers, they are being hailed as the future of transport.
The airport’s fleet of 21 pods will take passengers to the correct terminal using information from their frequent flyer cards or by typing their flight details into the computer, with no stops in between.
“The PRT trial will offer an exciting, quick and environmentally friendly option for passengers travelling from the business car park to Terminal 5,” John Holland-Kaye, Commercial Director of Advanced Transport Systems, said.
Powered by batteries, they are more environmentally friendly than normal coaches. Heathrow Airport announced their interest in using the pods two years ago.