Ever wished you could live like a Jetson? Would traveling by pod car on your daily commute to work do the trick? In 2015, 100 self-driving pod cars will arrive in the English town of Milton Keynes, shuttling two passengers at a time between the town’s train station, shopping center, and offices. The pods will move at just 12 mph and will get their own special lanes. After the first 100 are broken in, many more will hit the streets in 2017 with a cost of £2 per trip. Naturally, passengers will be able to summon a ride via a phone app. What I’d like to know is whether they’ll be called pods or cars in day-to-day conversation. Will “join me for a romantic pod ride down this country road” become the pickup line of the future?
The fully-electric pods are similar to a system that’s been used at London’s Heathrow airport for the past two years. The pods will use GPS, cameras, and sensor to drive themselves, much like BMW and Mercedes’ autonomous cars. I had no idea that autonomous vehicles were even a thing until today but apparently, the future is already here. Mind. Blown. The little pods will also be equipped with joysticks in case something goes wrong and a passenger needs to take control of the car. This sounds like a brilliant way to get home from a night at the bar without having to drive, passengers are still ultimately responsible for the vehicle, so no drunk riding is allowed! [Wired, Daily Mail]