Gatwick Airport has been imagining what the future could hold for those travelling to and from its terminals by public transport.
The world’s busiest single runway airport recently published a blueprint for the future of public transport that could include ‘robo-taxis’ shuttling people to Departures.
These personal automated pod vehicles may look futuristic but they already exist and are whisking passengers between Heathrow Terminal 5’s business car park and the terminal.
The ‘robo-taxi’ concept put forward by Gatwick is already on the drawing board. It was conceived by Czech designer Kubik Petr and has been designed to transport people quickly over short distances in metropolitan areas.
Gatwick says it wants to significantly boost the number of people using public transport by the time it handles 45 million passengers a year: a milestone it expects to reach by 2030. The airport now serves 34 million a year.
Here are some of the other public transport ideas set out in Gatwick’s report:
Intelligent high-speed trains
Smart trains wait for passengers at the platform. The idea is based on technology that allows rail companies to automatically adjust train schedules to meet demand in real time. Efficient trains of the future include Bombardier’s ‘very high speed’ ZEFIRO train (pictured, right), which is currently being developed for the railways in Europe, Asia and North America.
For those who drive to the airport, Gatwick could in future offer a space-saving, robotic parking system that can automatically park your car while you wait.
The technology is already being used at a car park in the Middle East, where computerised machinery lifts and places cars on a shelving system.
Business travellers could also be in for a few extra perks with a personalised transfer service to the airport on board an eco-friendly minibus.
The ‘Toureen’ concept bus features large windows, a sliding panoramic roof, seats that mould to passengers’ individual shapes and electric motors within the wheels to eliminate its carbon emissions. Passengers could also be offered real-time flight information in their seat while en-route to the airport.
By 2030, the airport suggests that passengers could be driving entirely electric cars such as Nissan’s Pivo 3 concept car, which can park and charge itself. The futuristic three-seater can also be controlled from your smartphone.
Read Gatwick’s full report on access to and from the airport.