Dubai Metro station to home in a driverless car? Soon

 Dubai Metro station to home in a driverless car? Soon

Dubai - Driverless vehicles may also come up at malls, tourist spots, residential complexes and parks.

By Web Report

Published: Sat 12 Nov 2016, 1:22 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 Nov 2016, 11:46 AM

Good news for Dubai residents: You may soon be able to travel in driverless cars at several key areas in the city, including at metro stations, malls and tourist spots in the emirate.
This follows the successful trial runs of driverless cars in the emirate. Khaleej Times readers will remember that the first and second phase of the trials were undertaken in Dubai World Trade Centre and Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard.
Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said in a statement today that it is now undertaking the third phase of trial run, at Business Bay over a 650 meter-long track in collaboration with Dubai Properties.
Each driverless car deployed by the RTA is capable of lifting 10 persons at a time.
"The trial run of the smart vehicle in the Business Bay is the third-time experience following the successful first test run carried out in Dubai World Trade Center, and the second trial in Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in coordination with Emaar," said Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA's Licensing Agency and Chairman of Smart Vehicles Committee.
Bahrozyan noted that the RTA is also working on "drafting rules and legislations towards the implementation of the smart mobility strategy of the emirate and setting out well-defined legal structures covering the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh key aspects of the policy of using autonomous vehicles in the first and last mile stage, business centers, residential complexes and parks."
Dubai is testing the driverless cars to check their feasibility in the emirate's climatic conditions as well as educate residents and visitors about the technology.
The move is also aimed to "sensitize the people about Dubai Government's strategy for smart vehicles aimed at converting 25 per cent of total mobility journeys in Dubai to various types of driverless transit means by 2030," explained Bahrozyan.
Safe and environment savvy
The electric-powered smart vehicle is 100 per cent environment-friendly and can travel up to 8 continuous hours. The vehicle can accommodate 10 riders (6 seated and 4 standing) and can travel at a speed of 10 km/h.
It is designed to move within closed internal roads in areas such as residential districts, entertainment venues and the likes. It boasts of high safety and security standards as it is fitted with four-directional GPS System and uses laser sensors enabling it to spot any object 40 meters away.
It can slow down automatically once an object approaches in a range of two meters. If the object approaches less than two meters, the vehicle comes to a complete halt.
Dubai residents love going driverless
In the previous phases, a questionnaire to capture users' views and satisfaction rating showed that a vast majority of users - 95 per cent - were happy with the service.
"Autonomous vehicles have continued to accomplish their success proved by the sustained riders satisfaction rating derived from the experience at the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard coordinated between RTA and Emaar Properties from September 1 to October 5 this year where the overall satisfaction rating clocked 95 per cent," said Bahrozyan.
"The debut of autonomous vehicles experience in the Dubai World Trade Center last Ramadan yielded satisfaction rating of 92 per cent according to inputs of two questionnaires conducted by RTA. Visitors were lifted over a month from ground car parks to the main restaurants, hotels and landmarks at the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard on the route of the vehicle. The result was concluded from a questionnaire probing the views of a wide spectrum of riders aged 20-40."
"The second questionnaire included elaborate questions that concluded to important results, namely 96 per cent of respondents expressed satisfaction with the safety specifications, and 95 per cent were interested in the deployment of the vehicle as a public transit means.
"About 69 per cent of respondents were not concerned with the lack of driving control system, 62 per cent were not concerned by the legal responsibility in case of an accident involving other vehicles, and 70 per cent were not concerned with the mobility of the vehicle between pedestrians, private vehicles and bicycles. The questionnaire also indicated that 85 per cent of respondents expected the technology to reduce vehicle accidents and increase road safety, and 88 per cent believed the vehicle could result in reduced traffic congestion.
"About 92 per cent thought that the vehicle could save fuel consumption, and 85 per cent expected the insurance premium to drop in case of using this smart technology. The questionnaire covered public transport riders, private motorists, tourists, citizens and residents of the UAE and Dubai," stated Bahrozyan.

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