India to soon add pod taxis to its public transport system in six states
According to the media report, Maharashtra plans to build the route for Bandra and Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai, while in Rajasthan it will be between Ajmer railway station and Ajmer Dargah, which is a 4.7 kms stretch.
Six states including Maharashtra is looking to add pod taxis to its public transportation system, says a report in today’s Livemint. The states are in talks with companies that build personal rapid transport systems (PRTs), needed for pod taxis.
According to the report, Maharashtra plans to build the route for Bandra and Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai, while in Rajasthan it will be between Ajmer railway station and Ajmer Dargah, which is a 4.7-km stretch.
Other interested states include Jaipur, Gurugram, Dehradun and Thiruvananthapuram.
Pod taxis are futuristic driver-less vehicle that ply on specific, pre-decided routes. In pod taxis, the pods that can carry 4-5 persons are suspended from an overhead rail.
The pods can zip along five to ten meters above the group and will ascend and descend at designated stations to pick and drop passengers. The average speed of pods is 60 km per hour.
The Union road and highway ministry is soon expected to form a panel to pen down standards and guidelines for the PRT system. The union transport minister Nitin Gadkari met with Niti Aayog and National Authority of India for same.
With this, India will become the first country to lay down standards for PRT operations. Currently, only Heathrow airport has a PRT project.
Last year, the Union government had approved pod taxi project for Gurugram.
A pod taxi project will cost somewhere about Rs 50 crore per km whereas for metros the cost is Rs 250 crore per km.
According to government officials, proposals are been sieved through Urban development ministry to get approvals and financial assistance in place.
US-based SkyTran is already in talks with certain government for a PRT project. The company is interested in building a 1-km pilot stretch in India at its own cost, as asked by the government panel, says a report.Besides SkyTrans, Ultra Global PRT and Metrino PRT have been chosen by the government to build pod cars at their own costs.