UAE to make driverless cars for delivering relief aid to refugees

Filed on October 30, 2016
Supplied photo

Masdar Institute links up with QinetiQ and Sand-X Motors to develop unmanned rover system.

UAE's Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is working on developing an unmanned tactical vehicle, or a driverless car, to provide logistical solutions, such as route clearance and the provision of relief aid.

An independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy, Masdar Institute is tying up with UK-based defence technology firm QinetiQ and Swiss-based ATV developer Sand-X Motors to develop this Unmanned Rover System (URS).

The URS program is expected to lead to the development of a UAE-manufactured unmanned tactical vehicle that will provide logistical solutions, such as route clearance and the provision of relief aid to the front lines and refugee camps safely and securely.

"We believe that the URS program will ultimately lead to the development of disruptive technologies that will enable greater vehicle expeditionary mobility without sacrificing survivability," said Dr. Steve Griffiths, Vice President for Research and Interim Associate Provost, Masdar Institute.

Some of the capabilities of the URS ground vehicle:

  • Remote control operation, which will allow direct human input to drive the vehicle remotely;

  • A "follow-me" system, which enables the vehicle to follow the driver once he dismounts the vehicle;

  • "Return home" capabilities, which enables the vehicle to return by fastest means to a fixed point without driver intervention;

  • Shuttle abilities, which allow the vehicle to shuttle supplies between bases; and waypoint-follow, which enables the driver to send the vehicle ahead to the waypoint and then return to a preselected destination.

The collaborators will enter the URS Capability Demonstrator in the Dh1-million UAE Drones for Good Award and the Dh1-million UAE AI & Robotics for Good Award. Award winners will be announced on February 11, 2017.





Staff Reporter

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