- Oct. 23, 2016
-- Amman, Jordan (October, 2016) –
Careem, the region's leading app based car booking service has showcased driverless pods at GITEX 2016, in partnership with NEXT Future Transportation Inc., as part of the Dubai Smart Government initiative.
The pods are electric, driverless and can move individually or by attaching themselves to other pods, to form a bus-like structure allowing passengers to move freely from one pod to another. These self-driving pods are designed to operate as a mass transportation system whereby passengers can conveniently be picked up on demand and dropped off to different locations, as the pods link and detach accordingly, creating an efficient, safe and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
The partnership comes soon after His Highness 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, smart and driverless by 2030.
"As one of the fastest growing tech startups in the MENA region, Careem prides itself on innovation and therefore this strategic partnership with a forward-thinking company such as NEXT is nothing short of incredible!" said Bassel Al Nahlaoui – VP of Business Development and Government Relations, Careem. "Our pods are currently in the R&D phase and within a year we will be launching the test phase, whereby fully functional prototypes will be tested in restricted areas."
Careem, which has enjoyed early success in delivering luxury rides to millions of customers since its launch in 2012, recently partnered with the RTA to make public transportation such as taxis, more accessible by eventually making it available on their apps. This will help promote the vision of NEXT and Careem, which is to provide a more efficient mode of driverless public transportation.
"We have invented the world's finest autonomous mass transit solution, and as we look to operationalize, we need a partner that will provide operational depth and scale. Careem is a perfect partner from our perspective given their vision, credibility and success in transforming transportation across the MENA region," said Emmanuele Spera, Founder & CEO, NEXT Future Transportation, Inc. "We look forward to continuing our journey to bring advanced transportation technologies and practices to the region."