Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:14 UK

Driverless airport pods unveiled

The Personal Rapid Transit System
The pods will take people from the terminal to the car park in four minutes

A driverless vehicle, which will move passengers around Heathrow Airport, is being put on display.

The low-energy, battery-powered Personal Rapid Transit System (PRT) can carry four passengers at up to 25 mph along a dedicated guideway.

Eighteen of the pods will take passengers between Heathrow's Terminal Five and its business car park from next year, aiming to cut congestion.

The driverless vehicles are being shown at the Science Museum in London.

Passengers boarding the vehicle at one of three designated points in Heathrow will select their destination by using an onboard touch screen.

It will take four minutes to transport them from the terminal to their car park.

Developed by Bristol-based firm Advanced Transport Systems, the PRT should cut waiting times and queues.

It also generates no local emissions and is 70% more energy-efficient than cars and 50% more energy-efficient than traditional buses.

The £25m scheme is being tested at Terminal Five before its use is considered across the rest of the airport.



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