International Podcar City Conference Returns to Silicon Valley

Nov 4-6, 2015 in Mountain View - Ninth annual event focuses on personal rapid transit
October 26, 2015
San José, CA

The Ninth Annual International Podcar City Conference is set for Wednesday-Friday, November 4-6, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. It will address the role of podcars and automated transit networks as they pertain to mobility, energy, cityscape, and livability. An audience of 150-200 is expected, including city planners, transit planners, consultants, architects, engineers, investors, developers, elected officials, and university students. Podcar City is organized by the Institute for Sustainable Transportation (IST) of Sweden and the International Institute of Sustainable Transportation (INIST) of California. The Mineta Transportation Institute is a co-sponsor.

“Podcars are similar to the driverless trains we see at airports and other facilities around the world,” said Christer Lindstrom of INIST. “But these are built as smaller cars for about six passengers. Initial systems are expected to fill the need for short trips or for connections between transit modes. We expect the technology to eventually evolve into larger systems. Elevated tracks will allow them to operate without impacting street traffic.”

The conference will open on Wednesday, November 4, at 10 a.m., with a student design charrette at San Jose State University’s Spartan Superway Design Center, 128 E. St. John St., San Jose. Students will present their team designs at 4 p.m.

Thursday registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. The program begins an hour later with speakers including Aurora Lindström, IST Sweden; Vince Valdes, US Department of Transportation; Matthew Lesh, Noblis; and Ingmar Andreasson, PhD, Royal Institute of Technology’s Centre for Traffic Research.

Other speakers representing government, business, and professional organizations will come from across the US, China, France, Australia, Sweden, Italy, the UK, Poland, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

Plenary sessions include: City, MPO, and State Perspectives; and Systems in Operations. Breakout sessions will address HSR/Feeder Systems and Station Area Design; Shared Mobility and Accessibility; Applicability of Podcars; Urban Design; Systems Development; Swedish City Perspectives; Procurement and Standards; Driverless Vehicles; Energy and Climate; and an interactive workshop.

The Podcar City 4 Conference was held at the San Jose City Hall Center in 2010, attracting international participants. Other conferences have been held in New York, Washington, Germany, and Sweden.

Mr. Lindstrom said, “Podcars have impressed people all over the world. Some famous riders include Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel, US Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, among others.”

For information and to register, go to


The International Institute for Sustainable Transportation (INIST) staff and partners have comprehensive skills and experience in the core disciplines needed to build mobility projects that dramatically improve quality of life – project management, general design, energy analysis, innovative transportation solutions, public outreach, and more. INIST does not compete with traditional consultancy studies. Rather, it provides conceptual designs in collaboration with students, professionals, and advisors. INIST establishes partnerships with top key professional organizations for best performance on all levels of a project – architects, developers, transit specialists, solar consultants, and virtual model providers. 


The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) conducts research, education, and information transfer programs regarding surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. Congress established MTI in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. MTI won national re-designation competitions in 2002, 2006 and 2012. The Institute is funded through the US Department of Transportation, the US Department of Homeland Security, the California Department of Transportation, and public and private grants. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI, the lead institute for the nine-university Mineta National Transit Research Consortium, is affiliated with San Jose (CA) State University’s College of Business. Visit


Media Contact:
Christer Lindstrom Partner, INIST 408-314-9650