Dubai’s driverless taxis are here and they’re called ‘autonomous pods’

Multiple ‘pods’ can combine together to form a larger vehicle

12 February 2018
by Mike Priest

Get ready for the future, folks, because earlier today the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) unveiled the world’s first driverless taxi system.

Dubbed ‘autonomous pods’, the taxis are designed to carry up to ten passengers per pod and travel across short and medium distances. Multiple pods will be able to combine together to form a larger vehicle if passengers are travelling along the same route – essentially ramping up to something akin to a driverless bus system – splitting back off again to take passengers directly to their destination.

On board, travellers will be able to move freely between cabins, using the complimentary Wi-Fi and ordering refreshments – here’s hoping for an on-board snack bar!

The entire system will be fully electric, with each pod’s battery supporting three hours of operation and taking six hours to juice back up. Don’t expect to be speeding down Sheikh Zayed Road, however – the pods won’t be able to travel more than around 20km per hour.

There’s no word on when the autonomous pods will be rolling out across the city, but in the meantime you can see them in action in the video below:

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