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RTA launches region’s first autonomous taxi at GITEX 2018

Dubai to transform 25% of all journeys to self-driving by 2030

Dubai’s RTA (Roads and Transport Authority) is to test run the region’s first ‘autonomous taxi’ at GITEX 2018. The taxi is designed in conjugation with Dubai Silicon Oasis and DG World.

The vehicle will start its first trial runs towards the end of 2018 on dedicated routes in Dubai Silicon Oasis for three months. It can drive at a speed of up to 35km/hr and accommodate 4 riders. The taxi has a button that can be pressed which will shift it from autonomous driving to human driving mode, in case of a potential technical glitch.

Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency said: “The vehicle offers an innovative solution for challenges associated with the first and last mile as well as internal roads in several residential communities and entertainment venues.”

Bahrozyan continued: “The vehicle features high safety and security standards. It can remotely scan and figure out the surroundings, such as light signals and the four sides of the track through a GPS system. It can monitor any object that may have the potential of triggering a collision.”

Besides the autonomous taxi, RTA will also launch an array of smart services and technologies. These include the launch of the Customers Loyalty Points Program (nol Plus), which allows users to earn points while using public transport. RTA will also highlight the ‘Dubai Drive’, which is an upgrade to the ‘Drivers & Vehicles App’ and will enable customers to keep in touch with the latest services.

Attendees at GITEX will also be able to witness the S’hail app, “which enables customers to access all public transport means through a single window, making Dubai the first city worldwide to develop such an integrated platform,” said HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors at RTA, ahead of the launch.

He further explained: “RTA will also show the new generation of real-time screens for passenger information fitted with new add-ons such as journey planning and downloading journey timetables in mobile phones, among other AI initiatives.”

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