California City Considers Pod Cars as Gridlock Solution

By Christie Smith
|  Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014  |  Updated 1:27 PM EDT
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Sky Tran Could Fix Mountain View's Traffic Problem

Unimodal Systems

Unimodal Systems' SkyTran vehicle will test NASA's intelligent control system software.

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Sky Tran Could Fix Mountain View's Traffic Problem

The car of the future is no car at all. Mountain View city council has accepted a 20 year plan to install the Sky Tran Podcar, which would solve traffic problems around Google. George Kiriyama reports.
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If you can’t build out, build up.  That’s the idea behind exploring bringing elevated pod cars to Mountain View.  On Tuesday night, the City Council is considering its next steps as to whether they should develop these "pod cars," to help solve traffic problems. 

SkyTran is the Mountain View-based company developing the technology.  The pod cars are not a train but sleek looking pods on an elevated track designed to move people above traffic, not through it.  They're looking to complete a proof of concept project.  The cost is estimated at $750,000.

The city manager may soon begin talks with the U.S. Transportation secretary and local businesses to create a grant for the fund, according to the Mercury News.

The cars, profiled by NBC Bay Area in June 2012, could help alleviate traffic at the downtown transit center, North Bayshore Area and Google’s future campus at Moffett Field. 

Estimates are that the cost could run $7 to $8 million dollars and more 5,000 people per hour.  Development may take 5 to 10 years.

(Editor's note:The council decided to research the idea further before moving forward with the pod car project.)

VIDEO: Futuristic Pods Considered for Mountain View
(Original report from 2012)  

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