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Aerial taxis, the Hyperloop, Maglev pods, autonomous pods and driver-less cars could all be part of the country's transport mix. Here are the details on some of those ideas.
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Aerial taxis: Dubai is hoping to begin operations of pilotless aerial taxis in the next five years, and will look to conduct more trials with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) this year. The RTA has signed a deal with Volocopter, a German manufacturer of autonomous air vehicles.
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Hyperloop: When it will happen remains uncertain, but initial designs of the Hyperloop project were unveiled in Dubai last month. The RTA and Virgin Hyperloop One said they have made “considerable progress” in the economic feasibility study of the project.
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Maglev pods: Developer Miral plans to double visitors to Yas Island to 48 million by 2022, and has signed up NASA’s SkyTran to deploy a magnetic levitating transit pod system around the island. Meant for four passengers at a time, the pods will function more like taxis than monorails.
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Autonomous pods: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) began testing the world’s first autonomous pods at the World Government Summit last month. Launched in cooperation with Next Future Transportation, the pods will travel at 20kmh and carry ten passengers.
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Driverless cars: Dubai is building capabilities to support Tesla, Uber and Google once they begin testing driverless vehicles outside of the US. Tesla’s fleet of 50 Model S and Model X SUVs, delivered to the RTA last year, are also equipped with the company’s Autopilot software.