UAE taxis drive in the direction of autonomous future

ABU DHABI, Dec 12, 2021 (AFP) – Mustafa sits immobile behind the wheel, upturned fingers in his lap, as his taxi drives itself, bringing the United Arab Emirates nearer to an autonomous future.

The “security officer” is a part of a trial for driverless cabs within the capital Abu Dhabi, the place prospects may be picked up and dropped off at 9 pre-determined spots on Yas Island.

It’s been a “easy trip” up to now, stated Mustafa, with no incidents that required any main intervention.

“Up to now few days, we’ve had most prospects order taxis from the mall or lodge,” he advised AFP.

Bayanat, a department of the Abu Dhabi-based Group 42 tech firm, final month launched the trial of 4 driverless automobiles, two electrical and two hybrid, below the title TXAI.


A second section will embrace no less than 10 automobiles and a number of places throughout Abu Dhabi, the corporate stated. Clients can order the automobiles utilizing the TXAI app.

Robotaxis have been examined at numerous places world wide in recent times, however business use of the automobiles has up to now been tentative.

Final month, autonomous cabs have been rolled out in Beijing, but additionally with a security officer within the driver’s seat in case of an emergency.

Hasan al-Hosani, CEO of Bayanat, stated eradicating the security officers could be a serious step.

“The milestone to maneuver from L3 (the place a security officer is current) to L4 (and not using a security officer) could be a giant one,” Hosani advised AFP.

“The automobiles are already operational… We’re collaborating with the authorities to additional develop our operation space geographically, in addition to to improve to L4 stage.”

Abu Dhabi isn’t the one member of the UAE eyeing a driverless future.

Neighbouring Dubai says it needs 25 p.c of all of its transport driverless by 2030, chopping prices, air pollution and accidents.

Dubai goals to launch a small fleet of self-driving taxis by 2023, in keeping with state media, with plans to achieve 4,000 by 2030.

The shift is predicted to hit taxi drivers, the overwhelming majority Asian migrant employees, in a rustic the place foreigners make up 90 p.c of the 10-million inhabitants.

The UAE final month accepted a brief licence to check self-driving automobiles on the roads, however there is no such thing as a federal laws but governing autonomous automobiles.

This stays one of many greatest obstacles.

“This know-how is new and rules pertaining to security and different operational elements are being developed in actual time,” stated Hosani.

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