Autonomous pods to offer leisurely transport alternative in Dubai

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and American firm Next Future Transportation have launched a trial of autonomous pod vehicles in the emirate.

The pods travel at a speed of 20km/h in dedicated traffic lanes. They can operate singly and in trains and each can carry four seated and six standing passengers. 

Pods will contain a battery with a three-hour life span that can be fully charged in six. They mount 2D and 3D cameras to help avoid accidents, and can be taken over by an external operator if the situation requires it.

Mattar Al Tayer, RTA Director-General, said: "The pods run on a virtual pre-configured and programmed lane and are overseen by the operational system.

"The success of initial tests of these units will bring about a breakthrough in transportation systems and offer innovative mobility solutions and ease snarls in the city." 

The project is part of a larger plan by RTA called the Dubai Future Accelerators initiatives, which aims to make a quarter of journeys in Dubai autonomous by 2030.

Image courtesy of RTA

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