DUBAI 23 April 2017: Residents of Dubai may soon become used to seeing the driverless shuttle operate in various parts of the city, according to a plan of the Roads & Transport Agency (RTA).
The Smart Autonomous Vehicle has been tested for over two months in the Business Bay district by RTA in cooperation with Dubai Properties. RTA claims an overall satisfaction rating of 91 per cent from a survey of 736 users aged 20-40 years. The Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy calls for 25% of all trips in Dubai to be driverless by 2030.
“During the trial run, the driverless vehicles has been used in the Business Bay by as many as 1,700 riders comprising public transport users and private vehicle owners,” said Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, CEO of Licensing Agency and Chairperson of RTA Smart Vehicles Committee.
“The RTA is considering to broaden the use of the autonomous vehicle elsewhere in Dubai emirate including metro stations, malls and tourist attractions.
“Meanwhile, the RTA is drafting regulations and legislations governing the smart transport strategy in the emirate to come out with a clear legal framework that regulates the usage of self-driving vehicles in first and last miles, central areas, commercial complexes, residential areas and parks,” elaborated Bahrozyan.
The smart vehicle is 100% eco-friendly as it runs on electrically powered engines with an eight-hour battery life. The smart vehicle can accommodate up to 10 passengers (6 sitting and 4 standing) and can travel at a speed of 10 km per hour.
The vehicle is designed to operate in closed interior streets within residential complexes, entertainment venues and the like. The vehicle is fitted with high safety and security features, thanks to its four-sided laser sensors using GPS coordinates. It can detect objects up to 40 meters away, automatically slows down when the object is two meters away and comes to a complete halt when the object approaches less than two meters.
The driverless shuttle was tested in Business Bay after successful runs in Dubai World Trade Center and Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard. The overall satisfaction rating of users has hit 91% according to a survey covering 736 users.
The satisfaction rating of vehicle safety specifications reached 92%, while 91% were interested in providing autonomous vehicles as a means of public transport. 80% of respondents expected that the technology would improve traffic safety and reduce road accidents, while 82% expected the technology would ease traffic congestion, and 90% expected the technology to result in less fuel consumption.
By Angel Chan