While robotic vehicles out on the open road move forward in prototype form, a system of driverless electric podcars with dedicated tracks is now operational at London's Heathrow Airport. The system, which has been operating on a trial basis since April of 2011 and is entering regularly scheduled service this summer, connects Heathrow's Terminal 5 with two stations in parking lots 1.2 miles away.
Among the complaints that many Americans have about mass transit systems is that they don't go where people need to be and they don't like to be packed in with crowds on buses and trains. People like to have their personal space and a ride across town in a bus can also a long time because of all the stops. Enter the Podcar, a personal rapid transit system that uses small, autonomously-guided vehicles with a capacity of up to 10 people. Rather than running on a fix route network, the podcars woul