Pod power for airport

BAA has been granted planning permission to begin construction of the Arup-designed infrastructure for an automated Personal Rapid Transit system at Heathrow Airport.


BAA has been granted planning permission to begin construction of the Arup-designed infrastructure for an automated Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system at HeathrowAirport.



By 2008, passengers will be able to use driverless pods for the journey from a car park to Terminal 5. The pilot system has been designed to extend along the northern perimeter to link hotels, car parks, rental car depots and offices with Terminal 5 and the Central Terminal Area.



The electric-powered system consists of driverless taxis running on concrete tracks which are automatically routed according to passenger demand. Each pod carries up to four passengers at speeds up to 40kph. The pods use 70 per cent less energy per mile than a car and the system can move up to 4,800 passengers per hour.



The BAA pilot contract is the first commitment in the world to a small car PRT system.