Taxis and PRT
Driverless taxis are summoned by phone to any location.
Personal rapid transit is on-demand transport that follows set routes. There are two kinds of PRT – rail based and road based.
Vision from 2050
Driverless taxis are ubiquitous and complementary to PRT. They are comparatively cheap but more expensive then PRT which has replaced many bus services. Many people took the operating companies' offer to trade-in their cars and invest in taxis and PRT services for which they get a big discount.
Unlike the 20th century PRT systems that had their own track, PRT in towns now runs mainly on roads. Battery-powered podcars recharge automatically while waiting to pick up passengers. Pods have a menu of destinations as in a lift. They have seats for 4-8 people, with space for buggies, wheelchairs, luggage, etc.
At boarding platforms there are usually a few waiting. At quiet times they may leave with only one person in them, but at busy times they normally load till almost full.
The main capital cost is in the podcars and the control system. Adaptations to the roads are often made as part of a general improvement scheme.
City Centre PRT
PRT is used to link destinations (stations, edge-of-centre shopping centres, car parks, etc.) that are too far apart to easily walk. The routes generally avoid the main roads, and are often loops.
PRT for new green towns
Developers of a new green town built in open countryside often provide a PRT system from the outset to establish its green credentials and ensure popularity. Anyone buying or renting in the town gets free access to the PRT.
Driverless car technology launched in Milton Keynes by Department of Transport
The Ultra PRT system operating at Heathrow in 2014