Podcars Ready for Reality

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 14, 2008 in Science |

podcar from sleeper

If you’ve ever watched the 1973 Woody Allen film Sleeper which is set in the year 2173 you’ll recall the futuristic podcar. Well it now looks like the city of Ithaca, New York is now seriously thinking about bring the concept to life:

podcar concept art

Ithaca Aims To Be America’s First “Podcar” City

“With the oil crisis reaching a zenith and federal lawmakers ready to begin fashioning a new national transportation bill for 2010, Roberts and his colleagues think the future is now for podcars — electric, automated, lightweight vehicles that ride on their own network separate from other traffic.

Unlike mass transit, podcars carry two to 10 passengers, giving travelers the freedom and privacy of their own car while reducing the use of fossil fuels, reducing traffic congestion and freeing up space now monopolized by parking.

At stations located every block or every half-mile, depending on the need, a rider enters a destination on a computerized pad, and a car would take the person nonstop to the location. Stations would have slanted pull-in bays so that some cars could stop for passengers, while others could continue unimpeded on the main course.

“It works almost like an elevator, but horizontally,” said Roberts, adding podcar travel would be safer than automobile travel.”

Sleeper screen grab found via whatthebutlerblogged.

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