December 22, 2011      

Picture this scene next time you’re caught in a morning commute traffic jam. Sometime in the not-to-distant future, you make the short walk from your home in the outer suburbs to a nearby “pod station,” a raised platform somewhat larger than a street-side bus shelter. Press an app button on your smartphone, and a few moments later an aircraft-shaped suspended car, looking like a Euro-designed ski gondola, glides to a halt at your feet. Enter the car, use the touchpad to give it...

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