Less Smog with Podcars?
Traffic jams in big cities are a common picture. Energy is being wasted and pollution levels are rising. Something has to be done to limit damages to the environment. Could pod cars help to improve conditions? A number of Swedish municipalities are looking seriously at introducing the pods.
The so-called Personal Rapid Transit systems involve small trackbound vehicles that are a compromise between individually driven cars and public transport by buses and trains. These fully automatic, driverless rail cabs, called podcars, take up to four passengers to any desired destination within their track net. Driven by electricity, they don't emit environment-hostile toxic gases.
PRT pilot projects have been going on for quite awhile in the USA, and recently London's Heathrow airport introduced a podcar system for the vicinity of the terminals, transporting airline passengers to and from the airport's wide-spread parking facilities.
In April of this year the Swedish government assigned Kjell Dahlström, former director of the National Agency for Transport and Communication Analysis, to explore prospects for successfully developing the new traffic system in this country. Six months later Dahlström presented his findings to the government. He confirmed that a number of municipalities are willing to endorse local PRT projects and to contribute financially to them.