This UK startup is developing driverless electric pods to reduce congestion and
68% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050, putting massive strain on roads and existing public transport networks. In the UK alone, road congestion cost the economy almost £7 billion in 2019, with 65% of its workforce currently commuting by car. This compounds air quality crises in cities worldwide which collectively lead to 4.2 million deaths annually according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). A large proportion of this pollution is caused by road traffic, creating demand for mass transit solutions to reduce congestion.
Conventional mass transit infrastructure projects – such as the £19 billion Crossrail project in London, UK – are disruptive, time consuming and costly, with European rail projects going over budget by 34% on average. These costs can be prohibitive for smaller cities, developers, and businesses, such as airports and out-of-town business parks, which compounds the reliance on road transport.
Need for sustainable and affordable mass transit solutions
As cities across the world urgently seek sustainable and affordable mass transit solutions that meet the needs of a zero-carbon, clean air future while supporting a new age of mass urbanisation, around 100 countries are planning over 1,000 new metro rail projects by 2030. This is equivalent to over $2.2 trillion USD of investment.
World-first driverless transit technology
A world-first driverless, zero-emission mass transit technology – comprising autonomous electric pods capable of traveling on both road and rail – has been launched by UK-based startup Urban.MASS to revolutionise urban mobility and connectivity in cities worldwide, cutting congestion, air pollution, costs and carbon emissions.
Breakthrough floc technology
The mobility startup’s breakthrough floc technology will, for the first time, combine door-to-door on-demand ride hailing transport with high frequency, accessible and sustainable mass transit to provide seamless, zero-emission passenger and cargo journeys across cities.
Cradle of the railways: Shildon
The world’s first fully operational site is planned to open in 2025 at the National Railway Museum, Locomotion, in Shildon, North East England – exactly 200 years after the same site hosted the world’s first passenger steam engine, Stephenson’s Locomotion. A rapid global rollout will follow, seeing at least 10 cities adopt the technology by 2030, beginning with Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and cities across the UK, ushering in a new era of mass transit.
The company’s floc technology is a twenty-first century solution to the problem, designed to be significantly cheaper and quicker to construct, with a much smaller physical footprint than conventional metro rail, light rail and tram projects.
Kevin O’Grady, CEO of Urban.MASS, said: “Cities are changing like never before – populations are exploding but the way we move people around hasn’t changed in over a century. Victorian-era rail…