If the future sounds something like this, then the future is right here!
Government has approved setting up a network of driverless vehicles, linking Manesar in Gurgaon with New Delhi. Developed by the Metrino Personal Rapid Transit from Auckland, New Zealand, this new way of public transport has been described as a quantum leap in transportation solution.
Termed as ‘Metrino’, these are small pods, which can carry upto 5 passengers at a time, and are fully automatic, driverless and travel independently suspended over an overhead network which is usually 5 – 10 meters above ground.
Thus, when a passenger or a group of passengers wish to visit a particular place within this network, all these need to do is hop into one Metrino, specify the destination via voice command or panel and let the pod do the rest. Passengers can also change the destination mid-way, if required. Metrino can travel at a maximum speed of 70 km/hr.
These pods are equipped with military grade wireless technology and sensors, which are monitored at a command base and on the ground for extra security and safety.
Here is a video that will give you an idea of how Metrino pods work.
Compared to Metro Rail, which incurs an expenditure of Rs 200 crore / km for elevated line and Rs 600 crore / km for underground line, Metrino will cost about 5 times lesser per km in the initial stage. Check this graph below to see how cost effective Metrino pods are.
Atul D Shirodkar, who is heading the project in India, said, “This system is different from the traditional pod taxi. The cost for one km corridor is only Rs 40-50 crore against high cost involved in building Metro rail network. So, our fare would be close to what people pay for travelling in Metro trains,”
As per transportation experts, Metrino can give back it’s ROI within 1 – 5 years which is estimated to be between Rs 6 crore to Rs 60 crore per km per year, which is phenomenal to say the least.
Some of the advantages of Metrino:
- The pods and the network are not affected by adverse weather conditions
- They can move along dense crowded and congested roads and localities
- The pods can also be used to transport freight and junk/garbage
- It saves fuel, cost of transportation and pollution
European Union has provided Metrino with a grant of $10 million to carry forward the research and implementation across cities, which actually validates it’s operational efficiency and technology feasibility.
In today’s urban cities, teeming with millions of citizens, the major problem is transportation as navigating heavy traffic on road becomes a torture. Additionally, the metro rails are always filled to the brim and covering 10-50 kms by walking is not feasible.
Considering these factors, Metrino certainly sounds an awesome idea. We hope that the implementation of these driverless pods is done right, ensuring security measures and all benchmarks of safety.