Traffic accidents are common in Dubai and are a leading cause of death in the United Arab Emirates. Unsafe driving practices are common, especially on main roads. Drivers should particularly look out for unmarked speed bumps, pedestrians crossing and drifting sand, which can cause visibility problems.
The first driverless vehicle hit the roads of Dubai on Thursday, September 1, the Roads and Transport Authority announced. The ten-seater vehicle will be on a month-long trial on a 700-metre-long track on Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai.
Free rides will be offered to all commuters during the trial period. The project is part of Dubai’s attempt to introduce smart mobility solutions as the country eyes to host World Expo 2020. Built jointly by Easy Mile and Omnix International, the autonomous car dubbed as EZ10 is designed to travel short distances on pre-programmed routes.
The electric shuttle will run in both directions. The new smart driverless vehicle’s advanced technology which makes it function even in harsh weather conditions. It’s designers have also made use of sensors and other smart technologies to ensure passengers’ safety and avoid collisions.
RTA Board Chairman and Executive Director Mattar Al-Tayer said that the driverless vehicle has already been tested successfully in the first phase. “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 cars technology,” he said.
The introduction of smart vehicle is the first step in implementing the driverless mobility strategy launched by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The project aims at switching 25 per cent of total mobility in Dubai to driverless transporting system using various transit means by 2030.