Driverless electric pods to hit Dubai’s roads within a year; Careem
The driverless electric pods aim to create a safe and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
During GITEX Technology Week, Careem and NEXT Future Transportation unveiled its driverless electric pods, which are expected to be in use within a year in Dubai.
The driverless, electric pods can move individually or by attaching themselves to other pods which will form a bus-like structure. These self-driving pods are designed to operate as a mass transportation system whereby passengers can be picked up on demand and dropped off to different locations, as the pods link and detach accordingly, creating a safe and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
Bassel Al Nahloui, VP of business development and government relations, Careem, said: "As one of the fastest growing tech startups in the wider MENA region, Careem prides itself on innovation and therefore this strategic partnership with a forward-thinking company such as NEXT, helps us to contribute to the future growth of the regional transportation and technology sector by providing more efficient modes of driverless public transportation.
"Our pods are currently in the R&D phase and within a year we will be launching an extensive test phase in Dubai, whereby fully functional prototypes will be tested in restricted areas before we roll out this incredible technology to other markets in the region."
The idea is that the electric pods will serve as a tester in the emirate before Careem plans to roll out the pods in other cities across the region. Furthermore, driverless electric pods for public transportation is set to reinforce the region's position as a hub for innovation, especially at a time when economies in MENA focusing on driving long-term growth through the launch of smart initiatives.