Dubai is on the brink of revolutionizing public transportation with its cutting-edge driverless Railpods, reminiscent of futuristic concepts from “The Jetsons.” Developed by the city’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), these innovative rail systems offer a glimpse into the future of urban mobility and could soon extend to cities worldwide.

The Railpods, resembling miniature monorail cars, traverse tracks elevated above the ground. The RTA is working on two versions of the project: the Floc Duo Rail system, featuring two tracks akin to traditional trains, and a solar-powered variant utilizing a bridge to harness solar energy for the pods’ operation.

According to Super Car Blondie, the RTA CEO asserts that these pod systems will incur only 20% of the cost typically associated with conventional metro systems, partly due to the energy savings derived from solar power. Moreover, these railbuses are designed to operate autonomously, eliminating the need for human drivers.

Partnering with the RTA on this project is Urban.MASS, whose CEO, Ricky Sandhu, estimates that the system could serve anywhere between 1,000 to 16,000 passengers daily. Sandhu envisions the scalability of this transportation solution, suggesting its suitability for metropolitan areas with populations ranging from 200,000 to 10 million—an encompassing range that applies to most major cities globally.

Dubai’s endeavor represents just one facet of the ongoing transformation in transportation towards clean energy and futuristic solutions. For instance, California-based company Zoox has developed an all-electric driverless taxi car slated for launch on the West Coast of the United States. Additionally, companies like Beta Technologies and Joby Aviation are pioneering “electric vertical take-off and landing” vehicles (eVTOLs) for use in taxi and delivery services, further contributing to the evolution of urban mobility.

Dubai’s innovative Railpods exemplify a shift towards sustainable, efficient, and technologically advanced transportation systems, offering a glimpse into the future of urban mobility that could soon be realized in cities worldwide.

By Impact Lab