Forget alternative fuels and dump rusting gas guzzlers altogether for the driverless podcar, which offers "the convenience of an auto without the negatives," Catherine G. Burke writes in the Los Angeles Times. The sleek, electric-powered compartments seat four and use monorail-esque "guideways" to reach select destinations. It sounds futuristic, but England, Sweden, and the UAE are already investing in it.
At about $25 million to $40 million a mile, podcar systems cost a quarter of what light rails and subways do. Initially, Burke writes, podcars could connect public transit to passengers' final destinations, such as airports and downtowns. With "no significant service innovations in public transit in more than 100 years," it's about time for something new.