Careem, an app-based car hiring service, announced that it will be partnering with Italy-based NEXT Future Transportation to bring self-driving vehicles to the Middle East and North Africa.
The deal comes in the wake of the joint announcement by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the vice president of the UAE that they will be setting as a goal for 25 percent of vehicular travel in Dubai to be driverless by the year 2030.
The pods are being developed by NEXT with unique features making them an intriguing solution for the development of this up and coming technology. They are battery powered, can drive individually or can attach to form bus-like vehicles, and will allow passengers to move between pods.
The company said that the pods will make transportation safer, more efficient, and better for the environment than today’s means of transportation. They will also facilitate less road congestion.
The primary function of this technology is to provide door to door mass transportation resulting in faster and more efficient daily commuting to and from work in the UAE, according to Careem.
“We are honored to create a strategic partnership with such an innovative company as NEXT,” said Careem co-founder and managing director Mudassir Sheikha. “NEXT offers a unique and compelling vision for mass transit. We look forward to working closely with NEXT to pioneer their solutions in the region.”