Self-driving taxis hit the road in Dubai


It might not be flying taxis, but self-driving taxis on the road started test runs in Dubai on Sunday.

At the technology show, GITEX Technology Week, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority, or RTA, showed off its autonomous taxi service.

The driverless car service kicked off at the show and will run for the next three months in select parts of the city, according to transportation officials.

The cars are intended to connect passengers during the “first and last mile” to get from existing transportation systems to, say, a shopping mall or movie theater or other venue or to get back home.

An autonomous taxi will take passengers around Dubai.


The RTA said the cars go up about 20 mph and fit four passengers. Up front is a safety driver who can take over the car if needed. In promotional materials the cars are depicted without anyone in the front seat for a truly driverless experience, hinting at what the transportation agency could introduce later. The cars are modified Mercedes-Benz sedans with cameras, sensors, and LiDAR system built into the car.

The taxis come after Dubai tested self-driving passenger drones for an air-based taxi system. That service hasn’t taken off yet for the general public to use.

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And the Crown Jewel of the 1st day of @gitextechweek : #Repost @dgworlds (@get_repost) ・・・ More To come .. #Autonomous #Taxi #Dubai #digirobotics #Repost @rta_dubai (@get_repost) ・・・ . استعرضنا بمنصتنا في #جيتكس_2018، بمركز دبي العالمي التجاري، إطلاق أول مركبة أجرة ذاتية القيادة في المنطقة، وهي التقنية التي تعكس حرصنا على تعزيز استراتيجية حكومة دبي إلى تحويل 25% من الرحلات إلى مواصلات ذاتية القيادة بحلول عام 2030. تسعى المركبة التي تم تصميمها بالشراكة مع واحة دبي للسيليكون وشركة دي جي وورلد لتطبيقات الروبوتات وتقنيات الذكاء الاصطناعي، لتوفير حلول مبتكرة للميل الأول والاخير، فضلاً عن اتسامها بمعايير عالية من السلامة والأمان، حيث تمتلك القدرة على قراءة محيطها عن بُعد، مثل حالة الإشارات الضوئية، والمسار الذي تتحرك فيه من الجهات الأربع عبر نظام "جي بي إس"، ورصدها لأي أجسام يمكن الارتطام بها. سيتم التشغيل التجريبي للمركبة بحلول نهاية العام الجاري في مسارات محددة بمنطقة واحة دبي للسيليكون ولمدة ثلاثة شهور. للمزيد من التفاصيل، يرجى زيارة قائمة "آخر الأخبار" المشار إليها في خانة المعلومات لحسابنا. Through our stand at GITEX 2018, we have exhibited the first ‘Autonomous taxi’ in the region. The technology underscores our commitment to enhance the Dubai Government’s Strategy to convert 25% of total journeys in Dubai into autonomous transit by 2030. The vehicle has been designed in conjunction with the Dubai Silicon Oasis and DG World (Digirobotics). The vehicle offers an innovative solution for challenges associated with the first and last mile. The vehicle features high safety and security standards. It can remotely scan and figure out the surroundings, such as light signals and the four sides of the track through a GPS system. It can monitor any object that may have the potential of triggering a collision. The trial run of the vehicle will start towards the end of this year at designated routes in Dubai Silicon Oasis and continue for three months. For more details, visit the “Latest News” tab in our biography. #RTAatGITEX2018 @dtcuae @dubaisiliconoasis @dgworlds

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A release about the taxi service hailed the program for its contribution in “transforming Dubai into the smartest city in the world.”

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