Dubai debuts driverless minibus

September 2, 2016
Dubai has launched a driverless ten-seater minibus service on a trial basis for a month

Dubai has unveiled its first driverless bus service, launching a month-long trial period for the electric vehicle with a view to expanding it across the futuristic Gulf city state.

The 10-seat vehicle made its first trip on Thursday along a 700-metre (2,300-foot) stretch of road in downtown Dubai, near to the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower.

Developed jointly by French group Easy Mile and Dubai-based Omnix, the minibus is powered by an electric motor and can hit speeds of 40 kilometres per hour (25 miles per hour).

But, thanks to cutting-edge guidance technology, its developers say the bus can adapt its speed to the surrounding environment and even come to a complete halt if a pedestrian were to cross its path.

It can be programmed to navigate between Dubai's main tourist attractions, including the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, Dubai Opera and the Souk al-Bahar shopping centre, the emirate's Road Transport Authority (RTA) said in a statement.

Thursday's test run was "the first and very important stage in our efforts to introduce this type of into Dubai's transport network," RTA official Ahmed Bahrozyan told AFP.

Mattar al-Tayer, the RTA's director general, said it aimed to have a quarter of all Dubai automated by 2030.

Dubai is a leading tourist destination in the Gulf, attracting 14.2 million visitors in 2015.

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5 comments

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Lord_jag
5 / 5 (1) Sep 03, 2016
Great idea. Each unit can go plug itself in and swap out with another unit running the circuit.

Swapping out with one on the charger is an effective way to get around that charging problem.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Sep 05, 2016
Each nation will decide what works for them. I do not see driverless vehicles in India soon.

Lord_jag
not rated yet Sep 05, 2016
Each nation will decide what works for them. I do not see driverless vehicles in India soon.


Erm... soon? This already happened.
The 10-seat vehicle made its first trip on Thursday along a 700-metre (2,300-foot) stretch of road in downtown Dubai, near to the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower.
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Sep 05, 2016
The Burj Khalifa is not in India, it is in Dubai.
Uncle Ira
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 05, 2016
The Burj Khalifa is not in India, it is in Dubai.


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