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How Sharjah skypod can solve traffic woes

angel@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 31, 2019 | Last updated on October 31, 2019 at 05.38 am
Sharjah, skypod, traffic woes, driverless, passenger
The skypod is definitely being considered a viable public transport solution in Sharjah.-Supplied photo

The potential AUS skypod run will serve both as a testing phase and a showcase of the transport system in the region.

Sharjah might have found a solution to traffic woes: A driverless skypod transport system is currently being tested at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation (SRTI) Park.

Recently, His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has inaugurated the first phase of the development and the testing of the Skyway Project. It featured a driverless passenger skypod that ran on a 400-metre-long hanging rail.

To see how the innovation will fare, there are plans to build an expanded track and eventually provide the skypod transportation right on the campus of the American University in Sharjah (AUS), according to SkyWay GreenTech, the Belarus engineering company behind the project's development.

The potential AUS skypod run will serve both as a testing phase and a showcase of the transport system in the region.

The skypod is definitely being considered a viable public transport solution in Sharjah, a spokesperson from the SRTI Park told Khaleej Times on Wednesday, October 30.  

Experts have also found a potential to connect Mina Khalid, Hamriya and Khor Fakkan ports to the city via cargo skypods.

"This was the first practical application of this type of modern mobility in the region and will be adopted as part of a comprehensive plan to transform Sharjah into a sustainable and futuristic metropolis," the SRTI Park spokesperson said.

What's next?

Work on the next phase - which will be extended for longer distances - is currently being built, and another 2.5km-long track for a cargo pod is being constructed at the SRTI Park, the academic research arm of the AUS.

The skypod runs on a specially designed rail-string overpass at a speed of up to 150kmph. It also ensures safety, rational use of land, and minimal environmental damage.

In addition, the cost of construction and operation is significantly lower compared to existing transport solutions, SkyWay GreenTech underlined.

The passenger version of the skypod will come in different models, depending on its capacity - from a unibike that can carry two passengers, to a unibus that can transport 80 people on a single run.

The cargo version will also come in the size of a truck or a long-haul container.

"A passenger four-seat 'unicar' in VIP version and a 'cargo unicont' designed to carry 20 and 40-foot containers will be among the test skypods.

"The range of vehicles will be expanded to include new suspended and mounted vehicles of higher load and carrying capacities, capable of providing more cargo traffic (up to 200 million tonnes per year) and more passenger traffic (up to 50,000 passengers per hour)," SkyWay GreenTech said.

angel@khaleejtimes.com

 

Angel Tesorero


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