link via Slashdot:
Small, automatic electric vehicles will be demonstrated in two new projects.
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) systems are supposed to combine the convenience and privacy of automobiles with the environmental benefits of mass transit. Automated electric vehicles, or pods, each designed to carry from four to six people, wait at stations throughout a city or development, like taxis waiting at taxi stands. A person or group gets in a pod and selects a destination and the vehicle drives there directly.
Two of these PRT systems are being installed this year, one at Heathrow International Airport, near London, and one in the United Arab Emirates, where it will be the primary source of transportation in Masdar City.
This is cool, but it’s not obvious to me why people can’t just walk a few steps between station and destination, and use the (already-proven, less complicated) light-rail model.