Dubai trials driverless shuttle service

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Dubai is trialing an autonomous driverless 10-seater shuttle bus that in the future could be used to move visitors and residents around the destination.

The emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in collaboration with Emaar Properties, is operating the car along a 700-metre long track at the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in Dubai, close to the world-famous tourism attraction, Burj Khalifa.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the RTA said the trial represented the phase one of this experiment to test driverless transit technology under the climatic environment of Dubai.

“Through this trial run of the smart vehicle, RTA intends to educate the public about autonomous cars technology and the experimental use of the technology in Dubai’s climatic conditions,” he said in a statement.

The experiment is also part of the emirate’s smart driverless mobility strategy, which makes to switch 25% of total journeys in Dubai into driverless journeys by 2030.

The driverless vehicle used in the trial is produced by Easy Mile/Omnix Company to travel short distances over pre-programmed routes in multi-use environments. The vehicle is fitted with a sensor system to cope with any obstacles encountered en route to avoid collision.

Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “We thank RTA for supporting our plans aimed at using driverless cars in Dubai downtown. The trial run of the vehicle is a further testament to the firm commitment of the emirate of Dubai to encouraging sustainable transit means compatible with Dubai Plan 2021 for building a technologically-connected smart city.

“Emaar seeks to connect various Dubai Downtown landmarks, the most attractive tourist and entertainment destination for visitors worldwide through driverless vehicles as they involve added convenience and luxury to residents and visitors of illustrious tourist attractions such as Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Opera and Souk Al Bahar as well as different hotels. We would also endeavour to use this clean and smart initiative in our giant future project Dubai Creek Harbour,” he added.
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