Since that announcement, we now have air taxis, air cops, autonomous driving and more. But here’s equally compelling solutions.
* Hyperloops will soon connect Dubai-Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi-Al Ain
* Half of Dubai taxi fleet to comprise hybrid cars
* 7 new metro stations coming up
Big changes are coming: here are five developments that are set to completely revolutionise transportation in the UAE over the next three years.
The world’s first Hyperloop is under way in Dubai. The emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) signed a multi-billion dollar deal with Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One to build the transport link, which will take travellers from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in as little as 12 minutes.
Dubai expects that vacuum-sealed pods that will run through reduced-pressure tubes at speeds of 1,200 kilometres per hour will be operational by 2020.
Abu Dhabi has also announced its plans to build a hyperloop link to Al Ain, which is located nearly 160 kilometres away from the UAE’s capital.
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Dubai Metro extension
Dubai Metro is extending its network to connect to the Expo 2020 site. The works for the extension of the Red Line from Nakheel Harbour & Tower Station to the site have already started. The extended line, expected to go operational on May 20, 2020, will span 15km, comprising an 11.8km viaduct and a 3.2 km underground track.
There will be seven new stations, including a transfer station with the Red Line, an Expo Station, three elevated stations and two underground stations. An additional 50 trains will also be procured as part of the extension, 35 of them to upgrade the metro service and 15 for the Expo service.
Hybrid and electric cars
The UAE is very particular about sustainable development. It has left no stone unturned to address rising environmental concerns after the COP21 conference held in Paris in 2015.
The country has been promoting hybrid and electric cars since the climate conference. Dubai’s government bodies are increasingly adding electric and hybrid cars to their fleet. The RTA announced last year that half of the city’s taxi fleet will comprise hybrid cars by 2021.
In order to promote electric vehicles, a network of nearly 100 charging stations has been set up across the city.
Furthermore, there has been a spurt in the launches of hybrid and fully electric models in the country’s markets. These factors will no doubt push more such eco-friendly cars into the emirates’ roads in the coming years.
Self-driving cars have already hit the roads of the country, at least for test drive if not for a full scale commercial run. Mercedes-Benz made a successful trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in November. The UAE believes that 90 per cent of vehicles on road will be electric, self-driving cars by 2035.
Dubai has already launched Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy to make way for the ‘driverless’revolution. It was launched in line with the emirate’s vision to make 25 per cent of all transportation trips in Dubai, smart and driverless by 2030.
International taxi-hailing service Uber and its regional rival Careem are bent on transforming the country’s transportation sector. Both companies have been introducing innovative new features to their service.
Earlier this month, Uber signed an agreement with the RTA to cooperate in efforts to cut congestion and transport costs in the emirate. With governments on board, the ride-hailing firms are expected to expand their fleet and bring in additional features in the coming years.