Heathrow officially launches driverless pod system

16 September 2011  •  Source: Jonathan Schofield, HEATHROW SKYPORT

HEATHROW has today officially unveiled the airport’s most innovative transport system and the first new example of transit technology in 100 years.

Heathrow podThe unique Heathrow pod system – which took six years to develop at a cost of £30m – consists of 21 low energy, battery powered, driverless, zero emission vehicles capable of carrying four passengers and their luggage along a dedicated 3.8km guide way.

The pods will carry passengers travelling between the Terminal 5 Business Car Park and the main terminal each year, giving them a smooth and virtually silent five minute ride.

The journey is on demand and non-stop from start to destination at the touch of a computer screen and the pods even recharge themselves at battery points when not in use so they are always ready to go.

The Heathrow pods, which use 70 per cent less energy than it takes to power a car, and 50 per cent less than a bus, are expected to eliminate 50,000 bus journeys on the roads around the airport each year.

John Holland-Kaye, commercial director at Heathrow, said: “The Heathrow pods offer a personal, comfortable and reliable ride that is free of emissions.

“That’s why our excitement for this pioneering British technology is being shared by town planners, architects, other airports, business parks, campuses, retail and residential destinations from the US, Europe, India, Mexico and the UK, who believe that this system could revolutionise transport in urban environments.”

More than 100,000 passengers have already used the pods since the service started on April 18.

Leave a reply