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Dubai unveils autonomous ‘sky pods’ transport plan

Dubai pods

Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has unveiled plans to introduce a “futuristic mobility system” dubbed “Sky Pods”.

Two models are under development and both involve autonomous pods connected to rails suspended above the city and known as the SkyWay string transport system. 

Developed by Belarus company SkyWay Technologies Co, the pod system is intended to relieve urban road and rail congestion.  

According to the RTA, the infrastructure needed to operate the sky pods system is 10 times less than conventional transit systems of the same capacity. The pods themselves also use five times less power than electric vehicles.

There are currently two models under development. The first model called Unibike is a small-size, and lightweight transit pod designed to carry up to five passengers. It is fitted with steel wheelsand will run on suspended rails.

The pods are fitted with power generators and can travel at a maximum speed of 150km/h.

The second model of the Sky Pods is called Unicar and can also hit a top speed of 150km/h. The Unicar system also operates on rails. It is slightly larger than the Unibike proposal and can carry six people per pod.

An RTA spokesperson said: “The Sky Pods initiative is part of RTA’s efforts to provide autonomous transport, one of the key aims of the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy aimed at converting 25% of total transportation services in Dubai into autonomous journeys on various transit means by 2030.

“It is also part of RTA’s efforts to enhance the integration of public transit means, and offer solutions for short journeys (first and last mile) enabling public transport users to reach their final destinations.” 

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