Technology drives Innovation or Innovation drives Technology, in both case there is an invention. An invention to make a better product than before. Speaking about inventions in transport sector, we have come a long way from bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, car, trains, metro that depends on human labor to work. Although, Driver-less carry pods in Dubai is ready to add a new feather in the transport facilities available.
The Emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced to test independent pods in the country, since it is planning for 25% of the public transport journeys to be driverless by 2030. This is being done in collaboration with US technology firm Next Future Transportation.
The agreement seems to build in late 2016, when the Dubai ride hailing service Careem announced the plans where the pods bearing the RTA logo were displayed at the Gitex technology show.
(Source: EU reporter, YouTube)
The driver-less pods, named as NX1 pods, are designed to travel short and medium distances in a specific lanes at an average speed of 20 kph and can be coupled in 15 to 20 seconds or detached in five seconds. Each of the Pod measures 2.87 m in length, 2.24 m in width and 2.82 m in height and weighs about 1,500 kg. They have the capacity to ride 10 persons, with six seated and four standing. It will require a six hour charge to travel for three hours continuously. For security purposes, a camera has been installed inside the pod. Safety systems are also installed to prevent uncertain accidents. For coupling and decoupling process, electro-mechanical technologies are installed which can be performed in-motion.
On such development, RTA director general and chaiman Matter Al Tayer said,
“The prototypes of these units are manufactured in Italy and shipped to Dubai to put them on trials. These 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 that offer innovative mobility solutions and ease snarls in the city.”
According to the RTA, they have also planned to test drone taxis with Chinese company Ehang.
Such tests and trials come under the framework of the Dubai Future Accelerators programme, that propose on the tag Pulling the future forward faster.
Prior to this, Tencent and Amazon have also developed technologies that required no human labour.