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Dubai looks at first sky pod network with French firm

Design is for automatic, driverless transport system with self-propelled cabins moving along ropes at up to 45kph

French transport company MND is the latest to join the race to develop a network of high-speed suspended passenger pods in Dubai.

An early stage working agreement has been signed by the Roads and Transport Authority and the French mobility specialists.

The designs for a suspended transport network are similar to those already presented by the Chinese Zhong Tang Sky Railway Group and USky Transport of Belarus, which has a working test system at Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park.

The Cabline is a fully automatic, driverless transport system, with self-propelled cabins moving along ropes at speeds of up to 45 kilometres an hour.

“We believe the Cabline technology under development in our ropeways design centre based in the French Alps can contribute to new urban transportation experience,” said Xavier Gallot-Lavallee, chief executive of MND.

“Our engineering team has been working hard in the last years to finalise the design and make Cabline a unique and disruptive technology to ease urban mobility.

Sharjah sky pod set to revolutionise transport in emirate

“MND is very proud to work with RTA to achieve their vision of sustainable mobility.”

Cabline uses a minimalist infrastructure that its developers say is easy to integrate with the least possible footprint within an urban setting.

The company said its innovative technology is a more modern, aesthetically pleasing, quieter and more energy-efficient alternative to traditional ropeway transportation systems.

It has been developed in partnership with the French state agency for sustainable development, Ademe.

The Belarusian system is suspended on rails using Unitsky String Technology, at a fraction of the cost of other regular transport systems

A Skyway Innovation Centre and testing site at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park will include several lines using super-strong string technology.

Passenger and cargo pods will have the capacity to be carried at speeds between 150kph and 500kph, the company said.

A series of agreements have been signed with transport developers and the RTA to find the best solution of achieving Dubai’s vision of 25 per cent of all trips to be self-driving by 2030.

“Realising this objective requires developing advanced innovative transport systems and improving the sustainable transport network in Dubai to encourage people and visitors to use public transport,” said Abdul Younes, chief executive of the RTA’s Rail Agency.

“MND is a leading group for ropeways infrastructure and working on a new driverless high-speed system.

“This Cabline system by MND is flexible, energy-saving, and has minor impact on the urban environment.”

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