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Wednesday , 29 May 2024

Heathrow airport to have automatic, driverless pod cars

will soon roll out the environment friendly pod cars. They will replace shuttle buses that are at present used to ferry people to and from airports. The highlight of these pod cars is that they will not need drivers. Hence, they are also called robot cars. This pod car system will be one of the world’s first personal rapid-transit systems and will initially have 21 cars.

Pod cars are automated vehicles that carry up to six passengers who are travelling together to the same destination. The cars ride on small rubber tires on dedicated guideways above or alongside automobile and bus traffic. They are propelled by an electric motor and their navigation is entirely automated – through a computer system. Pod cars move only on demand and offer point-to-point service. These cars with reduced carbon pollution and lower operating costs when compared with traditional bus service, will either be waiting for passenger when he steps up at the platform or he can summon one from the control panel at each station. All he has to do is: Get in the car and punch in a destination. Then the car directly takes him to his destination without a halt in between. The control systems are so designed that each car will choose on its own the fastest route between origin and destination without bumping into any other car in between. The system for Terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow airport is undergoing trials at present.

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