GIFT City: Gujarat's Futuristic Project Could Soon Get Driverless Pods For Public Transport
India’s first International Financial Services Centre, at GIFT City in Gandhinagar, is exploring the possibility of introducing driverless pods for internal travel inside the city.
The National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML) has invited proposals from consultants for carrying out feasibility study for development of Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system to be implemented in GIFT City in Gujarat.
NHLML is a 100 per cent owned Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of the NHAI and is responsible for development of innovative and alternative mobility solutions in the country, including ropeways in various cities.
Personal rapid transit (PRT), also known as pod cars or pod taxis, is a public transport system which comprises small automated vehicles operating on a network of specially built guideways. The driverless pods usually work for non-stop, point-to-point travel transporting four to six people at a time.
Numerous PRT systems were proposed in India, but none of them could be implemented.
As a pilot project, the pod taxi system was to be developed on the 12.3 km stretch from Gurugram border to Sohna road, at a cost of around Rs 800 crore. The project has however, remained in abeyance.
In June 2022, Telangana Government proposed to set up an PRT system from State Assembly to Paradise Metro station in Hyderabad.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has already constituted a special committee to formulate and recommend standards and specifications for PRT system in the country.
Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) city has been conceived as a Central Business District (CBD) between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar and will act as a hub for the global financial services sector.
The greenfield city is being developed on 886 acres of land and will include office spaces, Residential apartments, schools, hospitals, hotels, retail and various recreational facilities.
The state government has envisaged connecting the GIFT city with Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar through Public system as Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and Metro rail system along with strong network of roads.
A branch line of the Ahmedabad Metro connecting the GIFT City with Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, is expected to be operational in 2024.
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