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Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) showcased their latest driverless taxi during GITEX Technology Week.

Dawn of a new era at GITEX

Visitors at the GITEX Technology Week can witness the test run of the first ‘Autonomous Taxi’ in the Middle East. In a first, the vehicles will be able to drive passengers to their selected destination without the aid of a driver. More details about RTA’s driverless taxis are set to be unveiled during the week-long event at the World Trade Centre.

Driverless technology only in Japan

Such technology only exists in Japan. Last August, Tokyo-based robot maker ZMP launched a pilot test in collaboration with taxi company Hinomaru Kotsu, taking passengers on a 5.3 km route in a driverless Toyota Previa, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The taxi operates daily and can make up to four round trips, costing 1,500(Dhs49.5) for a one-way journey.

More RTA smart initiatives set to debut

Smart initiatives dealing with communication systems, 3D printed spare parts, loyalty program and robotic cleaners will mark their debut. Starting with Chat BOT systems, an AI-powered automated messaging system that can assist customer services. Next up, Dubai Metro’s spare parts made by 3D printers will be on display, followed by robotic cleaners who will soon be operational in metro stations and the nol Plus program, a loyalty scheme that rewards nol card users.

Driverless technology in line with Dubai vision

RTA started the smart revolution by adding Tesla vehicles to its taxi fleet last year, in line with Ruler of Dubai, His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. The latest advancement goes in line with Dubai’s self-mobility strategy, aiming to convert 25% of car journeys into autonomous journeys.

Pilot phase to begin in Dubai Silicon Oasis

Car and technology enthusiasts could head down to Dubai Silicon Oasis, the city’s tech hub, to spot the autonomous taxis. His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA said “The vehicle, which will be tentatively run on dedicated routes at Dubai Silicon Oasis, has top safety & security standards. It is equipped with cameras and sensors that fully view traffic and road conditions, controls the vehicle and avoids collision. The ‘Autonomous taxi’ contributes to the integration of mass transport systems by facilitating the movement of public transport users, specifically Dubai Metro and Dubai Tram, to reach their final destinations (last mile).”

Photograph credit: RTA

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