The zero-carbon and zero-waste Masdar City currently under construction in Abu Dhabi will also be car-free, so how will one get about the one-mile square town of 50,000? If you want to travel on the surface you can walk, bicycle or ride a Segway but if it's snowing too hot to travel outside, you will also have the option of venturing underground and ride to your destination in a personal transit vehicle (PRT). These electrically-powered, centrally-controlled pods can carry four to six people and trundle along at speeds of up to 25 mph, following magnets embedded in the pathways. While that may seem slow, the small size of the municipality means that nothing is more than a few minutes away.

The designer of the system is Dr. Luca Guala who, as a panelist for a forum at SAE 2009 called "Green Mobility - The Long View," spoke about the transit system, explaining how it will work and its advantages. Green Car Congress not only covered this event in a great post, but also did a little Q&A follow up with Mr. Guala that's well worth the read if this concept interests you. Although the whole city won't be completed until 2015, you should be able to take a robot taxi around the first part of the network connecting the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) later this year.

[Source: Green Car Congress]

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