TORONTO — In a scene straight out of The Jetsons, India’s federal government has announced plans for a pilot project that will see one overpopulated Indian city receive ‘driverless taxi pods.’
The city of Gurgaon has grown exponentially in the past 15 years, with 173,000 people in 2001 ballooning to close to one million today. To ease congestion on the streets, the government hopes to open a rapid transport line – the first of its kind – that will feature an above ground track with 16 stations spanning over eight miles between New Delhi and Gurgaon, reports the Times of India.
According to Business Insider, the government will open biding to global corporations to fund the project’s construction. If all goes well, the project is expected to be completed within the year and will cost approximately US$136 million.
Each driverless taxi pod will be able to accommodate five passengers, with 1,100 pods in operation. Business Insider reports that passengers will have the option to pay more for an express pod, which carries them straight to their destination without any stops in between. For all other routes, passengers wait at a station before boarding a pod, which then rise along an elevated track, travelling at an average speed of 40 mph.