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Levitating pods to revolutionise UAE transport

Abu Dhabi's Yas Island is set to revolutionise transport with the introduction of 'floating' pods

How will 'floating' pods revolutionise transport in Abu Dhabi?
How will 'floating' pods revolutionise transport in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi's Yas Island is set to revolutionise transport with the introduction of 'floating' pods.

UAE firm Miral has signed a deal with US-based skyTran - a NASA Space Act company - to develop a personal rapid transport system based on magnetic levitation (maglev).

skyTran’s computer-controlled, 2-person “jet-like” vehicles employ magnetic levitation technology instead of wheels.

Miral has said that the system will be used to connect “current and future destinations" on Yas Island, and would eventually link to Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Mohamed Abdulla Al Zaabi, CEO, Miral, said: "Innovation remains at the heart of what we do on Yas Island.

"While we continue to build world-class destinations and expand Yas Island, it is imperative that we are able to implement an urban transportation solution which is not only energy efficient but also adds another level of excitiment to our vistors' experience.

"With skyTran, we have a partner who does not only share our vision for innovation in Abu Dhabi, but are developing a service which will tranform the Yas Island experience, and grow our appeal to the millions of residents and tourists who visit us from the UAE and across the world."

The patented high-speed, low-cost, elevated PRT system built at the NASA Ames Research Centre, will have cars zipping above traffic along magnetic lines from one destination to another across the island, a statement said.

SkyTran has said the computer-controlled system it has created will allow for easy expansion of the network at a later date, so that more tracks and additional vehicles can be added when needed.

Jerry Sanders, CEO, skyTran, added: "skyTran truly is a smart transportation solution for smart cities and we are proud to be able to bring this path-breaking technology to the Middle East for the first time."

Yas Island currently attracts over 25 million visitors every year to attractions which include Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, and the Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit. 

In April, Miral and global entertainment giant Warner Bros announced that its $1 billion themed destination is set to open in Abu Dhabi in 2018.

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Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019