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Tue 19 Jul 2016 01:57 PM

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Revealed: plans to bring self-driving pods to Gulf cities

Car service Careem inks tech deal to develop battery-powered, self-driving electric pods to the region

Revealed: plans to bring self-driving pods to Gulf cities

Careem, the Middle East’s app-based booking service, has announced a partnership with NEXT Future Transportation Inc to bring battery-powered, self-driving electric pods to the region.

The partnership comes on the heels of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s announcement of the launch of the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy, a new initiative aimed at making 25 percent of all transportation trips in Dubai be smart and driverless by 2030.

According to a statement from Careem, the pods, which are electric and driverless, can drive individually or by attaching themselves to other pods to form a bus-like structure where travellers will be able to move freely from one pod to another.

It added that this technology will be the first of its kind in the region.

"The partnership between NEXT and Careem will bring a new wave of transportation infrastructure to the Middle East that is safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly," the statement said.

The NEXT self-driving electric pods are designed to operate as a mass transportation system that shuttles people from door to door. The pods will pick passengers up on demand and link together in bus-like form on the journey to get each person from point A to point B as efficiently as possible.

"We are honoured to create a strategic partnership with such an innovative company as NEXT,” said Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder and managing director of Careem. “As the pioneering operators of the finest taxi fleet in the UAE, we are acutely aware of the ground realities of intra-city and inter-city transport.”

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khalid 3 years ago

as usual pr release. no detail information on many aspect. (when - where - how - etc) i advise careem to focus on improving their services and leave the innovation to others.

Sal 3 years ago

SkyTran seems to be a better option for UAE especially Dubai.