It’s a problem facing people around the world: how to safely navigate busy streets while still texting. But the six-person mobiPod from easyJet may be the answer.
The company’s Birmingham research team came up with the idea after studying swarms of toddlers harnessed in street ‘crocodiles’. R&D director Tracey Coombs explained the service to Spoofflé at last week’s press conference.
“So, customers either book a pod online or, if they’re too busy, they can just join one as it passes by and pay using their mobile.”
Fares are expected to be around £2.50 for a five minute leg and the vehicles offer wifi, coffee cup holders and a bag rack. A leader guides the pods along pavements, over crossings and around hazards at an average speed of 2.8mph.
We spoke to 37 year-old Fenton Blake, a client anger resolution executive with Barclays Bank, who took part in the London trials. “Absolutely brilliant,” he said. “It’s a good twenty minute yomp from Charing Cross to my office, head down and texting, and usually I keep bumping into people too rude to walk round me. Not any more though!”
Riding the omniPod Fenton reckons he can fire off three times as many messages, check his emails and Facebook without ever looking up.