Dubai launches tests of the world’s first ‘Autonomous Pods’ Image Credit: Courtesy: RTA

Dubai: The future of transport is here, and Dubai is among the pioneer countries to introduce it. The Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai launched the test of the world’s first ‘Autonomous Pods’during the World Government Summit today in Dubai.

For the first time, two full scale prototypes of these pods were displayed at Madinat Jumeirah. They have been designed and engineered by NEXT Future Transportation Inc.

Dubai Autonomus Pods are a mobility system designed to provide innovative and flexible transportation systems in modules.

Dr. Emmanuele Spera, CEO and founder of NEXT told Gulf News: “We didn’t have to convince Dubai. Dubai is open to innovation and They try to bring together technology, sciencentists and think tanks together to achieve the vision of His Highnes Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.”

According to a press release by RTA: “The autonomous pods are designed to travel short and medium distances in dedicated lanes. They can be coupled in 15 to 20 seconds or detached, depending on the destination of riders, in five seconds. The autonomous pods are fitted with cameras and electromechanical technologies to carry out the coupling and detaching processes, and this feature can be activated in motion.

“Each pod measures 2.87m in length, 2.24m in width and 2.82m in height. It weighs about 1500 kilograms and has a capacity to accommodate 10 riders (six seated, four standing). The autonomous pod is fitted with a battery that supports 3 hours of operation; which is chargeable in six hours. Its average speed is 20 km/hr.”

The RTA is keen on ensuring the principle of safety in all services delivered to clients. The autonomous pods have three protection systems in order to ensure full control and avoid crashing into any body. The main system comprises 3D cameras, and the second one is a standby system based on ordinary cameras, and the last is operated manually by the operator.

Spera added that: “We are trying to provide an easy solution for transportation, which is a big problem. These pods are a solution in developed and developing countries since they can function on a regular road with other cars. They don’t require additional infrastructure.”

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