India’s first pod taxi to follow US safety norms
The five-member committee set up for technical and safety standards of India’s first pod taxi project or Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) has invited fresh bids for strictest safety standards on lines of those prescribed in US.
In this regard, the committee has recommended issuance of fresh EOI (expression of interest) incorporating automated people mover (APM) standards and specifications in US, along with other general safety parameters with recommendations of NITI Aayog.
The pilot project will be taken up on design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis i.e. on PPP (public-private partnership) basis. It is meant for a 12.3-km stretch from Delhi-Haryana border on NH 8 (near Ambience Mall) to Badshahpur via Rajiv Chowk, IFFCO and Sohna Road. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been mandated to execute this project. The model is in place in London’s Heathrow airport, Morgantown and Masdar city. Earlier, three global companies were picked during initial bids for this project.
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)
PRT or pod taxi is an advanced public transport using automated electric pod cars to provide taxi-like demand responsive feeder and shuttle services for small groups of travellers. It is a green mode of uninterrupted transportation.
APM standards in US
The automated people mover (APM) standards in US as recommended by the committee for maiden PRT in India have been prepared by American Society of Civil Engineers. These recommendations constitute minimum requirements for acceptable level of safety and performance for the PRT.
The APM standards include minimum requirements for design, operation, construction and maintenance of various sub-systems of APM system and are in general relevant for a PRT. These include vehicle arrival audio and video visual warning system, evacuation of misalighted vehicles, platform sloping, audio communication, surveillance/CCTV, emergency call points and fire protection, among other advanced systems.