‘Smart pods’ blaze a trail for autonomous public transport

The NEXT Future Transportation module is a far cry from the sleek visions of self-driving cars designed by Tesla or Mercedes.
With an average cruising speed of 20 kilometers per hour, the electric pods are unlikely to set pulses racing.
But perhaps the most crucial distinction is that this self-driving vehicle is passenger ready.
Following trials in 2018, several NEXT units are expected to be in action at the Expo 2020 site in Dubai, providing short-distance rides for some of the estimated 25 million visitors attending the six-month world fair.
The Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has set the demanding target of having 25% of journeys in the city to be made through driverless transport by 2030 — going beyond the existing driverless metro and monorail systems.