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Delegates looking at the Dubai Sky Pod Vehicle which will help shape the future of transportation in Dubai during the World Government Summit at Madinat Jumeirah on February 10 2019 Image Credit: Atiq Ur Rehman /Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai plans to develop sky pods built on suspended technology, it was revealed on Wednesday.

For the project, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an agreement with the UK’s BeemCar Ltd, one of the biggest developers of sky pods in the world, said a RTA media release on Wednesday.

According to the agreement, BeemCar will develop sky pods, a futuristic urban mobility system in Dubai. The operation of such units occupies a land area several times less than conventional means of the same capacity. Sky pods are also power-efficient, small in size and light in weight, and mounted with steel wheels that run on suspended rails.

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RTA signs cooperation agreement with BeemCar Ltd to develop Sky Pods Image Credit: Supplied

Mattar Mohammad Al Tayer, RTA’s director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors and Chris Heaton-Harris, Minister of State at the Department for Transport, UK, witnessed the signing of the cooperation agreement between RTA and BeemCar Ltd.

Abdul Mohsen Younes, CEO of Rail Agency, signed for RTA; and Robin Brownsell, CEO of BeemCar Ltd, signed on behalf of the company. Attendees of the signing included Andrew Jackson, the British Consul-General in Dubai, and several directors of RTA.

“The signing of the agreement is part of RTA’s efforts to deploy autonomous transit means in line with the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy aimed at diverting 25 per cent of total mobility journeys in Dubai to autonomous transit means by 2030. The move corresponds to RTA’s efforts to enhance the integration of mass transit modes, and offer a solution to the first and last-mile challenge; which helps riders reach their final destinations,” said Al Tayer.

Enhanced cooperation

Al Tayer welcomed Heaton-Harris and praised the partnership between RTA and the British companies and organisations in the field of transportation and transport systems.

Al Tayer and the British minister discussed means of boosting relationships and sharing expertise between RTA and its counterpart in the UK in the field of rail operation, self-driving transport and control systems. The minister was also briefed about RTA plans in these fields.

Al Tayer also acquainted the British delegation with RTA’s trials on the autonomous air taxi along with its operational requirements, including rules and policies, coordination with federal and local aviation authorities as regards legislations governing air corridors, design and locations of take-off and landing points, and safety standards.

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RTA signs cooperation agreement with BeemCar Ltd to develop Sky Pods Image Credit: Supplied

The visiting minister was also briefed about RTA’s soft mobility project for developing an integrated and friendly environment using unconventional transit means such as cycling and e-scooter, besides addressing the first and last-mile challenges. He also reviewed RTA’s efforts in building cycling lanes extending 425km, which are expected to rise to 674km by 2023.

Heaton-Harris hailed the massive infrastructure of public transport in Dubai and the high operational efficiency of the Dubai Metro highlighted by punctual service timings. He said he was delighted to see several British entities engaged in RTA projects.

“I am very pleased to attend the signing of [the agreement] between [RTA] and BeemCar UK. This exciting collaboration will evaluate the feasibility of an aerial transit system based on BeemCar’s unique expertise. This is another example of the UK’s continued commitment to forging partnerships with the UAE across a broad range of innovation and technology,” he added.