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Driverless smart vehicle now on trial in Dubai



Starting from Thursday, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Emaar are trial running a driverless vehicle for a month at Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai.

Gulf News reported that the vehicle will be running on a 700-metre trial route that begins from Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard/Financial Centre Street intersection through to the Vida Hotel Downtown Dubai. During the trial period, you can go and ride the vehicle for free. We’re definitely keen to try it out!

The battery-powered vehicle has space for ten passengers and travels on ‘virtual’ routes. It takes approximately 90 minutes for it to map and memorise a route.

You can watch the video that the RTA tweeted here:

Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA, told Gulf News that the trial run of the smart vehicle is phase one, with more to follow. “This experiment is part of the RTA’s plan to test driverless transit technology under the climatic environment of Dubai. Through this trial RTA intends to educate the public about autonomous car technology,” said Al Tayer.

According to Al Tayer, this is just the first step in executing the driverless mobility strategy that was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Earlier this year, Sheikh Mohammed announced on his twitter account that by 2030, 25 per cent of all trips made by transportation in Dubai will be smart and driverless.

Sheikh Mohammed tweeted: “The strategy will help increase traffic efficiency, productivity, reduce traffic congestions and pollution & save millions of driving hours.”

Gulf News reported that in the next phase the driverless vehicle is expected to connect Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, the newly-opened Dubai Opera and Souq Al Bahar with several other locations in the area.

Welcome to the future!

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