Heathrow pod cars

This item appears on page 76 of the February 2012 issue.

At London Heathrow Airport, bus service between Terminal 5 Business Car Park and the main terminal was replaced by driverless electric “pod cars” in September. Each of the 21 pods can carry four passengers and their luggage. There is room for no more than one wheelchair per pod.

Riding a pod is included in the price of parking (£26, or near $41, per day). A pod can be summoned by pushing a button at the terminal. Once aboard, the traveler pushes “close doors” and “start” buttons and the pod moves along a track at 25 mph, making the trip in five minutes. The system runs 22 hours per day, weekdays, 21 hours on Saturday and 20 hours on Sunday.