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Heathrow Gets Personal Rapid Transit Pods

We've been hearing about the potential of "personal rapid transit" systems for a while now. PRT, as it's called, is usually envisioned as a...


We've been hearing about the potential of "personal rapid transit" systems for a while now. PRT, as it's called, is usually envisioned as a network of small, one- or two-person automated pods that deliver passengers from a pickup spot to a destination of their choice without stops, are centrally coordinated, and run on a dedicated tracks or streets. Think a scaled-down version of that system from Minority Report.One variation of "personal rapid transit" is already in effect at West Virginia University, but it's basically a tram. Something considerably more futuristic has been proposed for the utopian community of Masdar.Now, a PRT system is installed and going through its final tests at London's Heathrow airport. The system was designed by the folks at ULTra PRT. It'll ferry people from Terminal 5 to the various lots they might have parked in.The ambition to try to use PRT throughout a city, as in Masdar, is exciting. But it makes a lot of sense to experiment with PRT in a place like an airport first. And Heathrow will be a place where PRT has a high chance of working really well. Navigating a car around crowded airport terminals is stressful; creates bottlenecks; and results in lots of wasteful starting, stopping, and idling. It'll be interesting to see how this works.Via Boing Boing Gadgets.
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