ackerman gruber

The average American commuter spends 42 hours per year stuck in rush-hour traffic, according to one recent study.

More than four decades ago, West Virginia University thought it had found a solution to urban traffic woes: It built a transportation system known as personal rapid transit, or PRT.

Instead of riding with dozens of others on a train car or bus, PRT pods carry a small number of people. And instead of making stops, PRT takes you directly to your destination, nonstop.

To its supporters PRT makes total sense, yet there are only a handful of PRT systems in operation around the world.

Why Nonstop Travel In Personal Pods Has Yet To Take Off

GIF: Ackerman + Gruber for NPR

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Across Minnesota, locals are racing DIY cars around tracks on the thick frozen lakes, careening and colliding at speeds up to 60 mph. Photographers Jenn Ackerman and Tim Gruber are right there in the middle of it, even hopping into the passenger seat for that perfect shot.

The pair have photographed around 10 racing events around northern Minnesota for their series Frozen Speed. While there is an official organization for the sport, Ackerman and Gruber prefer to document the laid-back environment of smaller, more off-beat races. Most occur between January and March when the ice is an ideal 18-inches thick, and last around three hours.

 Read more about this NASCAR on ice.