Critical to Dubai’s vision is its plan to drive the widespread adoption of smart mobility measures designed to banish the current misery of the city’s chronic traffic jams to the past. By 2025, Dubai aims to have 25% of all its journeys managed by driverless transportation, as AI-powered solutions come take the stress, expense and pollution out of city-wide travel. Along with previously showcased flying AI taxis, 2019 has also seen the trialling of driverless taxis in the Dubai Silicon Oasis area. If successful in their test runs, autonomous cabs will provide an essential ‘last-mile’ solution to be layered in with Dubai Metro and Tram systems.
Also this year, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) began testing two models of “Sky Pods” in partnership with Skyway Greentech Co. The first is small, lightweight Unibike designed for two riders and can attain a top speed of 150kmph. The second, larger model is the Unicar, designed for longer journeys. Both types of Sky Pod will hang from specially designed rails connected across high-rise buildings of Dubai, offering an autonomous, traffic-free alternative means of travel.
Perhaps the biggest showpiece in the UAE transportation pipeline is the Hyperloop, which will begin construction in Q3 of this year, with the first 10km due to open in 2020. Connecting Dubai to Abu Dhabi with a journey time of just 12 minutes, the Hyperloop will undoubtedly cement the ‘smart’ status of both cities.
Smart infrastructure and services are also essential ingredients in the smart city vision for Dubai, a fact that the city will showcase effectively in March this year when Emirati telco du will officially open Silicon Park, its first integrated smart city project. Silicon Park will offer its visitors 60 distinct smart services, from electric vehicles charging stations to smart pop-up furniture, giving Dubai inhabitants a glimpse of their fully interconnected lifestyle to come.