Dubai: You could soon spot these driverless police patrol cars on the roads

The vehicle is in its production phase and can be expected on the streets of the city within the next 12 months

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Mon 16 Oct 2023, 2:45 PM

An autonomous Dubai Police patrol car which can man the streets of the city was at display at GITEX 2023, which kicked off on Monday. It took 65 engineers 5 years of research to build the vehicle named Autonomous Police Patrol M02, which according to its makers can function with an accuracy rate of 99.9 per cent.

“We have custom made the entire mechanical system of this vehicle,” said Fareed Al Jawhari, a spokesperson for Micropolis robotics, which designed the patrol unit. “Each wheel has an independent steering, braking and throttle system. This means the vehicle can move forward, backward, sideways and even perform donut moves. When it moves, it is so silent that you can barely hear it.”


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Including a drone launcher, a radar detector and a surveillance camera, the vehicle will offer Dubai Police a unique and efficient way of patrolling the city. With its research and development complete, the vehicle is in its production phase and can be expected on the streets of the city within the next 12 months, according to its makers.


The autonomous vehicle is controlled remotely by a driver who will be able to monitor its every move. “The vehicle has motion sensors which will be able to detect anything that comes in front of it,” he said. “It also has segmentation by which it will be able to differentiate between cars, humans and other objects. Also, there will be pre-determined points which the vehicle will follow when patrolling the city.”

Challenges

According to Fareed, one of the challenges the company faced when developing the system was to develop the system used to control it. “The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is a unit specialized to control robots,” he said. “But wherever we go, you only see ECUs fit for cars. But you can't adapt those to fit these autonomous vehicles. So, we had to custom build it.”

The company, which began with one engineer, has now expanded to a group of 65 to continuously monitor and develop the vehicle further. “Dubai Police may need to integrate more technologies in the future, so we have kept room for everything,” he said. “We will continue to monitor and upgrade it.”

It will take a lot more testing for the vehicle to be allowed out on the road. “We have partnered with Siemens to continue the testing,” said Fareed. “This is a military grade vehicle, and we want to make sure it is one hundred percent safe to be rolled out.

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