Driverless pods! Transport of the future

With all that is going on within our industry at the start of the new year, let’s remember that it’s not always about the destination, sometimes it’s about the journey. Take a step back from development news with a fascinating read on the transport technology of the future! 

With the start of a new decade comes a push into the future of transport, with the first trials of entirely driverless pods being completed in Bristol city centre this week. These small, taxi cab style pods have been designed with the hopes of providing quick and efficient  movement around large cities and compact, busy environments. Initially with the goal of transporting pedestrians to and from events and venues, could these self navigating pods be the inner city transport of the future? 

Using sensors and radar tracking to map out safe routes through both built up cityscapes and bustling pedestrian spaces, and the ability to recognise cyclists, pedestrians and other cars, these pods could move to being the perfect middle ground between cramped pavements and endless traffic jams. 

Capri, the company designing and developing these autonomous vehicles say that 90% of vehicle collisions are caused by ‘human error’ and that one of the many benefits of these autonomous vehicles is that they remove the human element of driving. Making these pods safer and more efficient than their human equivalent.

Controlled and hailed from their charging point via an app downloaded to your phone, these taxis of the future can communicate with traffic lights and infrastructure on your journey to reduce stopping time and make your travel the most efficient possible. 

Driverless Pods

The environmental aspect of these vehicles shouldn’t be forgotten about either, with a push for more sustainable transport and the reduction of carbon emissions being a priority in the 2019 Bristol strategy report, these completely electric pods are a great step forward to a more environmentally conscious Britain. 

Having won funding of £35 million from the government’s Intelligent Mobility Fund through a CAV2 competition, Capri is also supported by the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Bristol University and Heathrow Airport.

They began the trails of these completely autonomous pods at Cribbs Causeways this week, the developers say they are testing both the functionality of the pods themselves as well as the public’s reaction to relinquishing control to a driverless vehicle.