UAE video: Royal takes ride in region's first driverless bus

Vehicle is fitted with high-performing sensors and 14 cameras that can detect pedestrian crossings and traffic signals



Supplied photo
Supplied photo
by

Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Tue 16 Nov 2021, 7:17 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 Nov 2021, 9:31 AM

The Middle East’s first operational driverless bus was launched in Ajman on Tuesday morning.

Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, director of Ajman Municipality and Planning Department, and Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, were on board the bus on its inaugural run at Ajman Corniche.

Nasir Al Shamsi, project manager of ION, which is responsible for the project, said the bus is fitted with high-performing sensors and 14 cameras that can detect pedestrian crossings and traffic signals. “It can detect these (crossings, signals) from a distance of about 20 metres and come to a complete stop,” he said, adding that the bus can accommodate 15 passengers, including 11 seated, and can do a 3km run on the Ajman Corniche Road.

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“This section of the road is fitted with sensors that respond to the cameras and sensors in the bus,” he explained.

Al Shamsi said the first driverless bus in the Middle East was produced by a French company, but Emiratis at ION played a hand in developing the technology in the bus.

“In 2018, we did a trial run of the bus at Masdar City,” said Al Shamsi.

He said there were plans to extend the running distance to 7km in the near future.


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