UAE launches first driverless, 100% electric vehicle

Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, witnessed the launch of the Khalifa University autonomous vehicle (AV), the UAE’s first driverless, autonomous 12-seater shuttle that will transport students and staff around the Sas Al Nakhl Campus. Find out latest news about UAE driverless electric vehicle below.

He also attended the signing of an AED170-million operating agreement for the Emirates ICT Innovation Centre (EBTIC) by the three founders Khalifa University, Etisalat, and BT (U.K.), in addition to UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA).

Khalifa University has thus become the first university in the UAE to deploy an AV on campus that can also run in ‘real environment’ off campus, bringing smart sustainable mobility to the community and contributing to the UAE’s sustainable development initiatives.

The driverless and 100% electric shuttle is one of the first-ever autonomous vehicles to be deployed in the UAE in a ‘mixed traffic mode’, as it can drive on the road with other cars. T he environment-friendly shared transportation solution will also provide a research and development platform to faculty and researchers at the Khalifa University Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (KU-CARS), to investigate autonomous driving in challenging scenarios. UAE driverless electric vehicle

With around 50 researchers and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, KU-CARS provides a vibrant multidisciplinary environment for conducting robotics and autonomous vehicle-related research and innovation.

Sheikh Hamed said: “The autonomous vehicle at Khalifa University’s SAN Campus reflects the University’s commitment to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 targets towards creating a knowledge economy, and making Abu Dhabi a world hub of research and development. It also contributes towards driving innovation while creating knowledge and human capital. Congratulations to the faculty, researchers and student engineers who have done a commendable job by making us proud of such an achievement by a local university in the UAE.”

During his visit, Sheikh Hamed met with students from ‘Al Nokhba’ programme, who are also members of National and Reserve Service, in the presence of Brigadier-General Obaid Ali Al-Mansoori, Director of the Directorate of Information and Corporate Communication, National and Reserve Service Authority, discussed research projects related to autonomous shuttles, and then took a group photo with the UAE Military trainees.

After the launch, Sheikh Hamed travelled in the driverless AV between various buildings within the SAN Campus.

UAE reveals its first driverless taxi this week too

The project, named TXAI, consists of a fleet of vehicles that will be seen on UAE roads for a trial later this month. The ride-sharing services trial will be conducted on Yas Island.

Announced at the Abu Dhabi Smart City Summit, TXAI is the first autonomous driving project to go ahead on a public road in the capital. In charge is a G42 subsidiary called Bayanat, a geospatial, data analytics and AI company in the UAE.

Bayanat and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transport teamed up in March this year to lead the development of autonomous vehicles.

In phase one of the project, five vehicles will transport passengers between nine stops including hotels, restaurants, malls and offices.

Phase two will involve more vehicles and more locations in Abu Dhabi.


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