Nothing says 'the future' quite like auto-pods, except maybe flying cars, but those aren't here yet. What are here are Masdar City's rapid transit auto-pods. Claimed to be the world's first trackless Personal Transportation System (PRT), the four-seat pods will theoretically be able to take you wherever you want to go in the city, sans driver. We say theoretically because Masdar City isn't really a city just yet (more like a collection of a few buildings, with mostly researchers and students living there), and therefore the pods only go on one route with a stop at each end (about 1600 meters round-trip).
Another big change in the works is the PRT system will no longer be underground. Due to the global financial crisis, Masdar's audacious (and expensive) plans to make itself a floating city 25 feet (7.5 meters) above the ground got scrapped, forcing the pods above ground. While its nice to see some progress from when we last reported on them, these pods (and the city itself) have a long way to go before they can be declared a success.
Check out a video of the Masdar City trackless Personal Transportation System after the break.
[Source: Marc Gunther]