Video: Masdar's "Personal Rapid Transit" Pods Are Up and Running (Sort of)
Masdar City's driverless pods are up and running (even if they only run between two stations). Have a look.
When we first heard about Masdar City, Abu Dhabi's high-tech, carbon neutral town of tomorrow, one of the most futuristic features it promised was a "Personal Rapid Transit" system: a fleet of small, electric, driverless "pods" that would take passengers on individual trips anywhere within its extensive network.
The pods themselves were unveiled in 2009, but last March we heard that the PRT system would be much more limited than originally planned. Still, they're up and running now, and there's video, courtesy of Triple Pundit.
Triple Pundit's Nick Aster reports that the one PRT track that's functional is "a mere 800m long, and hilariously only connects two stations which are barely a 5 minute walk apart." So far, this is not a working solution to the urban transportation problem. But who knows, perhaps if the building industry hadn't collapsed Masdar would have something very different. And perhaps it still can be made to work. At least the video is kind of soothing.