The Heathrow Pods have been operating at the airport since 2011, offering passengers a free autonomous ride from their parking location to Terminal 5.
Three million passengers have travelled more than 4.5 million kilometres at speeds of up to 25mph in the Pods, which is the same as travelling the worlds’ equator 112 times!
Heathrow Pods travel along guideway tracks, giving passengers a smooth and virtually silent five minute ride to the Terminal. Passengers can simply tell the system where they would like to go using the touchscreens located at the station.
A central computer ensures that pods are distributed at each station according to passenger demand. When waiting for a passenger, the pods recharge themselves at battery points, so are always ready to go. The central system programs the route and its relation to other pods before it begins the route.
Journey time to and from the terminal is congestion free and around ten minutes less for the average passenger (compared to the original buses). These pods can travel at up to 25 miles (40kph) per hour.
The unique Heathrow Pod system – which started life as a Bristol University project – was developed by UK company Ultra and BAA and consists of 21 low energy, battery powered, driverless, zero emission vehicles capable of carrying four passengers and their luggage along a dedicated 3.8km guide way.