Friday, February 06, 2009

Driverless PodCars for Zero-carbon City

Media reports indicate that driverless "PodCars" will be trialled in Abu Dhabi's Masdar carbon neutral city. The PodCars are about the size of a small van and battery powered. The will run on dedicated roads and be computer controlled. There have been numerous proposals, (including Australia's Austrans), trials and some installations of "personal rapid transit " driver less small vehicle public transport systems, but with limited success. These systems require extensive infrastructure, with a dedicated right of way, either for roads, rail lines or monorails. In the case of Masdar City, the proposal is to run them under the city. The system is reported to be from Systemica.

Power is supplied either via wires along the track, as with conventional trams, or via batteries. Battery power results in lower speed, at odds with the streamlined appearance of the pods.

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