The podship is a passenger ship created from the premise that the four most influential variables concerning a ship's speed from point A to point B are engine thrust, ship mass, particle shielding and crew survivability against high acceleration. Depending on its creator's tech level and wealth, the podship will usually possess the best available engine, often amat or conversion based, and particle shielding.
The real characteristics of the podship are its effort to lower ship mass and crew life support requirements to an absolute minimum. This is done by dispensing with a crew section altogether, and instead upload the passengers to a computronium section of minimal size (though in many podships this includes space for a virch environment). Podships are members of the larger class of Data-only ships; such ships may carry enough data to recreate entire cultures or the recipes to build a colony from scratch.
In the most simple podships, this is all there is. An engine and a particle shielding system with a computronium core attached. These are often automated, and require outside forces in the origin system to upload the passengers and in the destination system to download and potentially create new bodies for the passengers. This basic type of craft is commonly used for transporting AI and upload passengers who needed to go somewhere where a netlink isn't available. However many other designs are made over this simple minimum, like the Klarion Explorer Seedship.