13 November 2016| Last updated on 19 January 2020
Dubai Set for Driverless Cars
Perhaps you've already seen one of the driverless pods venturing around Dubai yet? If not, you might do soon!
This city certainly knows how to smash through boundaries when it comes to innovation, technology and developments. Which is probably why it's unsurprising to see driverless cars will be introduced in Dubai's near-future.
With testing underway, the Roads and Transport Authority and Dubai Properties currently have several driverless pods, each able to carry up to 10 people, scooting around Business Bay... The third step after the first and second phases of trial operation of smart vehicles at DWTC and the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard.
What's even better is the fact that these nifty rides will not only be available in key areas of the city while out and about, but you'll be able to catch a ride at metro stations, in malls and at all of your favourite tourist attractions in the Emirate.
But how do they work?
Each car is powered by electricity, and the vehicle is 100% environmentally friendly with a battery-life of up to 8 continuous hours. Up to 10 people can jump on board, with space for six seated and four standing and can travel at a speed of 10 km/h.
While the speed of them may not impress you, it makes sense after learning where these driverless cars will operate. They're ultimate designed to move within closed, internal roads such as residential districts, entertainment venues and the likes... So you won't be seeing any of them in the middle lane of Sheikh Zayed Road, that's for sure.
— RTA (@RTA_Dubai) 31 August 2016
Nonetheless, combined with their 10 km/h speed and their high safety and security standards, there's no denying that these driverless cars in Dubai are pretty impressive. Each is fitted with a four-directional GPS System and users laser sensors, too, which enables them to spot any object 40 meters away.
You'll not need to fear a bump in them either, as they slow down automatically when something is within two meters of it. If less than that, the vehicle stops completely.
When can we expect to see them in action?
While they're in the third stage of testing, rules and legislations towards the implementation of the smart vehicles are currently being drafted and so we won't see these in full action for a little while longer as the legalities of them are decided.
The implementation of driverless cars in Dubai is part of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai's vision to turn 25 per cent of all mobility journeys in Dubai driverless by 2030.
By doing so, Sheikh Mohammed believes it would help to reduce congestion and pollution, and also give back wasted hours and increase productivity of individuals.