Top 5 Facts: ULTra Pods

1. Service – The ULTra Pod system went on trial at Heathrow Airport on 18 April 2011 and put into full service on 16 September 2011. During the trial, the system carried 100,000 passengers.

2. Shuttle – The Heathrow network runs from Terminal 5 to its business parks, and is expected to carry 500,000 passengers a year. This will replace 50,000 shuttle trips.

3. Schedule – It took six years to develop and build the Heathrow ULTra Pod system at a cost of £30 million. Currently, 21 pods are deployed on the 3.8-kilometre (2.4-mile) guideway.

4. Benefits – The pods are 70 per cent more energy efficient than cars and 50 per cent more efficient than buses. The vehicles generate zero local emissions and also reduce congestion.

5. PRT – Personal rapid transit (PRT) systems were conceived in the Fifties. A successful system was built at Morgantown, West Virginia, in 1970 and began operating in 1975.