Is your daily commute getting you down? Us too – but a futuristic solution is on the way.
Self-driving taxis are set to make their debut on Dubai’s roads in the near future, as part of a partnership that aims to cut down on the city’s congestion and pollution.
NEXT Future Transportation has paired up with app-based booking service Careem to bring the taxis of the future to the Middle East and northern Africa, and say the battery-powered electric pods are safer than manned vehicles.
The automated pods are also environmentally friendly, meaning they’ll fit in perfectly with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed aims to make 25 per cent of the city’s transport systems smart and driveless by 2030 as part of his Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy.
The pods, which can accommodate six people or up to 10 if passengers stand, can be ordered on demand and will take customers from door to door.
“We have invented the world’s finest autonomous mass transit solution, and as we look to operationalise, we need a partner that will provide operational depth and scale,” said Emmanuele Spera, Founder and CEO of NEXT Future Transportation.
“Careem is a perfect partner from our perspective given their vision, credibility and success in transforming transportation across the MENA region. We look forward to continuing our journey to bring advanced transportation technologies and practices to the region.”
While they can travel individually, the pods can also congregate together into a bus-like structure, allowing customers to walk between them.
This will also mean pods can collect en masse to create the most efficient routes for customers.
There’s no word yet on when we can expect these self-driving taxis to launch, but we’ll keep you updated.