19 July 2016
Following the vision of His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's aiming to make 25 percent of all transportation trips in Dubai be smart and driverless by 2030

Dubai - CAREEM, the region's leading app based booking service, today announced a strategic partnership with NEXT Future Transportation, Inc. to bring battery-powered, self-driving electric pods to the MENA region. The partnership comes on the heels of His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's announcement of the launch of the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy, a new initiative aimed at making 25 percent of all transportation trips in Dubai be smart and driverless by 2030. The initiative requires innovation, experimentation and the participation of companies working to transform the current transportation industry across the UAE.

The pods, which are electric and driverless, can drive individually or by attaching themselves to other pods to form a bus-like structure where travelers will be able to move freely from one pod to another. This technology will be the first of its kind in the region, and the partnership between NEXT and CAREEM will bring a new wave of transportation infrastructure to the Middle East that is safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly.

The NEXT self-driving electric pods are designed to operate as a mass transportation system that shuttles people from door to door. The pods will pick passengers up on demand and link together in bus-like form on the journey to get each person from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. Together, CAREEM and NEXT are co-innovating to help solve some of today's more troubling mass transit problems, including minimizing congestion and pollution. Additionally, by providing personalized pick-up and drop off of users, NEXT and CAREEM will help make the daily commutes of all UAE citizens more efficient and quick.

"We are honored to create a strategic partnership with such an innovative company as NEXT," said Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder & managing director of CAREEM. "As the pioneering operators of the finest taxi fleet in the UAE, we are acutely aware of the ground realities of intra-city and inter-city transport. While serving the immediate needs of the region, we are also cognizant of the importance of innovating for a greener and more delightful future. NEXT offers a unique and compelling vision for mass transit.  We look forward to working closely with NEXT to pioneer their solutions in the region."

"NEXT is truly excited about our new relationship with CAREEM," said Emmanuele Spera, founder & CEO of NEXT Future Transportation, Inc. "We have invented the world's finest autonomous mass transit solution, and as we look to operationalize, we need a partner that will provide operational depth and scale. CAREEM is a perfect partner from our perspective given their vision, credibility and success in transforming transportation across the MENA region. We look forward to continuing our journey to bring advanced transportation technologies and practices to the region."

People across the globe continue to contemplate the future of transportation and how it might be improved in terms of efficiency, experience, and easing congestion. The vision of NEXT combined with CAREEM's early successes in delivering millions of rides with tens of thousands of 'Captains', or drivers, since its launch in 2012 will result in the delivery of a more efficient mode of driverless public transportation.


CAREEM is the region's leading app-based car service that makes ordering chauffeur-driven cars reliable, safe, convenient, and affordable. Its customers can book a car on the CAREEM apps and website, or by calling a call center.  CAREEM is a pioneering company in the region's nascent 'sharing economy' - its mission is to make people's lives simpler by revolutionizing the transportation and logistics industry in the region. Established in July 2012, CAREEM operates across 27 cities in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region: Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca AlMukarramah, AlMadinah AlMonawara, Dammam, AlKhobar, Jubail, Dhahran, AlQasseem, AlAhsa, Abu Dhabi, Alexandria, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai, Karachi, Kuwait, Lahore, Manama, Rabat, Sahel and Sharjah.


About NEXT:
Next Future Transportation, Inc. is a technology startup based in Silicon Valley, USA and northern Italy.  NEXT has created a smart transportation system that consists of uniquely designed, electric modules that are autonomous and can be ordered to do a pick-up or a drop-off.  A module can seat 6 passengers and allow up to 10 standing passengers.  Modules can connect to each other to optimize freeway transit, and allow for intra-module passenger movement like a connected train.  Modules can also be specialized to provide "smart services" such as a modular restaurant, living accommodation, entertainment, office and battery swap services. 


For further information, please contact:
Samantha Horwell                             
Edelman DABO                                 
+971 50 774 1959

© Press Release 2016