If Delhi Metro has changed the way people travelled in Delhi then it's not too far when Personal Rapid Transit System (PRTs) will change people's habits, mindsets and rejuvenate them while rushing to and fro their respective destinations, discovers Maria R.

No wonder that India has started making strides towards sustainable transportation system with the advent of metros and monorail in major cities. To make headway, Gurgaon, Amritsar and Thiruvananthapuram's public transports are now on the verge of introducing a bubble shaped sustainable PRT or POD taxi system in the states–the first public transport which will be directly operated by the public with just a press of a button.

Designed to roll on specialized roads, the mouse shaped, air-conditioned and spacious POD will move only to those areas which are preset in it through computer and will drop the passenger to its destination only if its preset root and traveler destination are the same. Interestingly, this small automated car will be an unmanned, electric-battery powered, computer-driven vehicle with no emissions. As per the experts' view, it can be powered by renewable energy sources such as solar cells (SPV) and hydropower. Moreover, as this PRT may have stations located off line it would thus eliminate traffic jams and can provide all passengers direct route to their destination without stops.

Besides, Gurgaon, Amritsar and Thiruvananthapuram, the discussion to have this system in other states, is also going on. According to Mr. Ranbir Saran Das, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Fairwood Group-the company that is introducing the pod car in India in a tie-up with the UK-based Ultra, "we are in discussion with number of states in north, south, central, east and north-east and anticipating a 30% hit rate."

For a sustainable future, POD is being recognized as a sustainable transport system. As per Mr. Das "This is a game changing technology which will very soon change people's habits and mindsets. Being an inexpensive, profitable, sustainable, high capacity, quickly implementable in the most difficult situation and moreover extremely comfortable, this system has a bright prospect not only in few states or throughout India but also globally as it has relevance in every urban context in every continent."

NBMCW August 2013