Milton Keynes, a town North of London, has announced that it will be deploying the ULTra PRT transport pods as a public transportation system. Official plan is to have the system in place by 2015, with a full roll-out by 2017.

These pods can carry four people plus cargo at a speed of around 20 kilometers per-hour on a set track. The pods are similar to very small metro rail cars, with sliding doors for exit and entry, reported. Passengers can call for a pod using their smartphone for a ride that costs just two pounds per trip.

The pods have sensors meant to ensure the safety of both passengers and pedestrians, officials said. The pods travel using rubber wheels on a special roadway, between curbs that help in guidance. Each pod is computer driven by independent on-board systems, however, passengers can take over in case of a problem.

The pods will ferry passengers between the downtown area, the business district and the train station. Each pod can hold up to two people along with their luggage. Each pod has a battery powered electric motor and is charged at various stations between routes. The latest system is expected to be cleaner, quieter and less expensive than the current bus system.

The project is expected to cost 65 million pounds over the next five years and is part of the UK government's initiative to support green technologies. The technology has been successfully implemented at Heathrow airport in 2011 where 4km of track has been dedicated to run 21 such pods.


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