Middle East

Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla launches autonomous pod vehicle service

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) in Saudi Arabia has launched a fully autonomous pod vehicle service at AlUla.

The innovative pilot scheme allows passengers to quickly and easily access the Old Town of Ulla from the south parking lot. The service is part of RCU’s Comprehensive Time Journey (JTT) Master Plan to develop a fully integrated, accessible and environmentally friendly set of public transport options, the statement said. I am.

Serving the local community, Smart Pods run daily from 4pm to midnight. The electric pod can carry up to 22 people (8 seated and 14 standing), but the capacity is limited to 8 during pilot planning.

Passengers can ride the pods for free along the circular route. Each section takes only 3 minutes to cover 1km. As pilots continue, pod services will be expanded to other parts of Alura, including Dadan, Hegra and Aljadida, later this year.

Passengers sitting or standing on board can enjoy the journey while the informative explanatory video is being played. Utilizing the latest electric vehicle battery technology, the pod can be fully charged in just 15 minutes, providing enough power to travel 50km.

This pilot allows engineers at ZF 2getthere, the manufacturer of RCUs and pods, to monitor energy consumption, connectivity and utility before deploying autonomous services to AlUla’s specially selected sites. In addition, pod location, progress, and performance are monitored by a team based on RCU’s Smart County Control Platform, and cameras can be added to enhance passenger safety and capacity planning.

RCU has worked closely with acclaimed public transport and technology specialist RATP Dev to procure pods. ZF 2getthere will provide the first pod, another pod will be available from the manufacturer Easy Mile.

Amr Al Madani, CEO of RCU, said: AlUla’s pod service, which seamlessly connects people and locations, is offered with a variety of alternative transportation options, and this to international viewers while increasing smart and environmental credibility among residents. Increase the attractiveness of the region’s rapid growth. When fully functional, the network will provide a convenient, fast, fun and fun mode of transportation that links AlUla’s major heritage and urban sites with existing expanding infrastructure plans. “

Denis Guillois, CEO of RATP Dev Saudi Arabia, said: Through the design and operation of this innovative autonomous pod project, we are proud to contribute to the long-term conservation and development of Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Alura and Hegra. “

Sander Peeters, CEO of 2getthere, said: Reduce the use of personal cars and solve congestion, including parking problems. At the same time, riding the pods is fun and very comfortable, with four times the adjustment and filtration of regular diesel and e-buses. “

RCU’s long-term plan includes making reservations with a smartphone application that is fully connected to RCU and making autonomous pods available to residents and visitors to AlUla via “Uber-style” services. increase. As a further innovation, RCU is co-developing a digital paper touch screen that will be placed on each pod station that can call pods on demand.

The pilot scheme has a two-week break that will allow the pods to be shipped to Dubai. In Dubai, it will be maintained at the Transport Conference Exhibition (TCE) from February 6th to 8th and will be exhibited by industry leaders.

read: AlUla’s Royal Commission announces $ 15 billion opportunity for public-private partnership

https://gulfbusiness.com/saudis-royal-commission-for-alula-launches-autonomous-pod-vehicle-service/ Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla launches autonomous pod vehicle service

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