This will be a transport game-changer…

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, has supervised trials of the world’s first “autonomous pods”.

The pods – which are basically self-driving taxis – are being developed by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). They are designed to travel short to medium distances, carrying up to 10 passengers in each pod.

The clever system also allows the pods to be coupled together or detached, depending on the destinations of riders. So at times, rather than a taxi, the pods can join together to look more like a self-driving bus.

Here’s what Dubai’s driverless taxis are going to look like

This video shows how it’s supposed to work:

The initial tests of these futuristic vehicles took place on the sidelines of the World Government Summit at the Madinat Jumeirah. As well as Sheikh Mohammed, Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan was there, as was Sheikh Mansoor. It was a pretty big deal.

Mattar Al Tayer of the RTA said the success of the initial tests would bring about a breakthrough in transport systems that offer innovative mobility solutions and ease snarls in the city.

The goal is by 2030, 25 per cent of all journeys in Dubai will be self-driving.

– For more about Dubai straight to your newsfeed, follow us on Facebook