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RTA plans to test driverless buses in Dubai

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is working on launching driverless buses and will test the new technology on dedicated lanes in the near future

RTA plans to test driverless buses in the 'near future' [representational image].
RTA plans to test driverless buses in the 'near future' [representational image].

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is working on launching driverless buses and will test the new technology on dedicated lanes in the near future, according to reports.

Ahmad Hashem Behroozian, chief executive officer, RTA's Licensing Agency, told Arabian Business that the buses will be fully autonomous, but will have a driver sitting as a precaution for passengers in its first phase.

“The driver will not  be steering the bus, but sitting there for a precaution,” he said. “But as the technology evolves, you can expect a bus without a driver and without steering in the future.”

He added that the buses will not be merging with traffic in the first two years and will have their own dedicated lanes with sensors and cameras controlling the direction of the bus. The bus will also being able to stop during emergency situations.

Behroozian did not give a specific timeframe for when the buses will be officially launched.

RTA deployed a smart vehicle last year in Dubai's Business Bay area as part of the third phase of a trial operation implemented to gain end-user feedback about autonomous vehicles in the emirate.

The transport authority also launched the EZ10 ‘quadricyle’ last April, an autonomous vehicle designed by French transport pioneer Easy Mile and deployed in conjunction with Dubai-based technology company Omnix.

The vehicle is designed to travel short distances on pre-programmed routes and under various environments, including the UAE’s harsh conditions.

 

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