The SkyWay Dubai elevated track transport system links key locations such as Downtown Dubai and Dubai International Financial Centre. Credit: WAM/Tariq alfaham.
SkyWay Dubai project is being developed by SkyWay Technologies. Credit: Rsw-systems.com, Inc.
SkyWay's Unicar rolling stock is undergoing tests at EcoTechnoPark. Credit: Rsw-systems.com, Inc.
SkyWay Dubai is as new mode of transportation being developed by SkyWay Technologies in collaboration with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
The SkyWay project is an innovative transportation system that will carry passengers and freight on a specially designed elevated string-rail overpass. The project involves the development of high-speed urban and cargo transport systems.
The passenger-carrying capacity of the SkyWay Dubai elevated transport system is expected to be approximately 8,400 an hour in each direction. The system comprises driverless pods moving on pre-stressed string-rail cables that are suspended across elevated corridors.
Development of SkyWay Dubai project
SkyWay Technologies is building a 2.5km-long suspended track at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park). Expected to be completed by mid-2020, the track will allow the company to test an autonomous pod.
In October 2018, SkyWay Technologies reached an agreement with SRTI Park to build a test site at the facility for the project. The company launched an experimental phase of the suspended transport system and demonstrated a passenger pod on a 400m-long track in October 2019. As of January 2020, the developer completed 80% of the phase I development of the SkyWay project. The second phase is currently underway.
The firm is building the SkyWay Innovation Center (SWIC), which will be part of the SRTI Park at a later stage. The centre will serve as a research and production cluster dedicated to urban and cargo transport complexes.
Acceptance running tests on a production prototype of the Unicar started at SkyWay EcoTechnoPark in Belarus in June 2018. U4-431-01, a tropic design of the Unicar, commenced a series of tests at the centre in March 2019 to evaluate the systems and components ahead of certification.
The U4-431-01 model was tested in a climate chamber to evaluate the performance of the main systems under climatic conditions similar to that of the UAE. The tests covered systems such as doors, cooling and control systems, equipment, electric motors, the hydraulic unit, multimedia and microclimate.
SkyWay Dubai line details
The elevated tracks will carry riders from the starting point of SRTI Park to the end of the park (Mweileh Road).
The urban transit project involves a 15km-long elevated railway track system that will transport passengers and cargo through 21 stations. It will also link key destinations such as Business Bay, Downtown Dubai, and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
SkyWay rolling stock
The SkyWay range of vehicles includes Unibike, Unicar, Unibus, Unicont and Unitruck, which can transport passengers and freight. The Unibike is designed to carry two passengers at a maximum speed of 150km/h, on a semi-rigid, truss overpass. The Unicar has the capacity to accommodate up to 18 people and can travel at a speed of up to 150km/h.
Built for long journeys up to 200km, Unicar is a luxury vehicle that travels along the length of a super-light string-rail overpass. It is designed to adapt to the climatic conditions in the Middle East and operate in extreme temperatures up to 55°C. The vehicle is powered by a traction motor integrated into the wheel. The model has a double set of main energy storage units that provide increased cruising range.
In autonomous mode, the vehicle can attain a range of 300km at a speed of 100km/h. The empty and fully loaded weights of the Unicar are 4.5t and 6.1t respectively. The energy consumption per passenger is expected to be 0.61kWh or 0.16l per 100km of track.
The vehicle is also available in small-sized monorail models, U4-410 and U4-411. The U4-410 features a single-seat row and can carry up to three passengers. The 500kg vehicle runs at a maximum speed of 120km/h. The U4-411 weighs 425kg and can carry up to two passengers.
The Unibus vehicle is intended for high-speed transportation. It can transport up to 24 people at a speed of 500km/h, based on its configuration.
Cargo models include Unitruck (U4-131), Unitrans (U4-100) and Unicont (U4-192-01). The U4-171 Unitruck can carry 25t of cargo at a speed of 80km/h while the Unicont can carry a load of 32t at a maximum speed of 120km/h.
SkyWay Dubai project benefits
SkyWay Dubai will address the issue of traffic woes and support the UAE Government’s target of pushing 25% of the total transport towards autonomous operations by 2030.
The SkyWay project will meet the future mobility needs of Dubai. The system requires less area and infrastructure and consumes nearly five times less power when compared to electric vehicles. It also supports the UAE Government’s Dubai Smart City Strategy.
Key players involved in SkyWay Dubai project
Construction of the three SkyWay elevated tracks at the site will be completed by SkyWay GreenTech.
Skyway GreenTech and Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of the Sky Pods in February 2019.