Futuristic driverless electric shuttle to traverse Dubai

Showing its penchant for shaping the future, Dubai has showcased a small driverless electric shuttle that will ferry passengers around the city. Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai has unveiled a video showing the driverless electric shuttle named the EZ10 in action.

Driverless electric shuttle EZ10
The driverless electric shuttle EZ10 in action on the Dubai roads. Photo courtesy: mediaoffice.ae

In the video posted on social media, the Smart Autonomous Vehicle can be seen ferrying passengers across Dubai, part of a plan to test driverless technology and achieve 25 per cent driverless transportation by 2030.

The shuttle has 360 sensors and is designed to cover short distances along pre-defined routes. The smart vehicle can accommodate up to 10 passengers (6 sitting and 4 standing) and can travel at a speed of 10 km per hour. The vehicle is designed to operate in closed interior streets within residential complexes, entertainment venues and the like.

It can detect objects up to 40 metres away, automatically slows down when the object is two metres away and comes to a complete halt when the object approaches less than two metres. The smart vehicle is 100 per cent eco-friendly as it runs on electrically powered engines with an eight-hour battery life.

The video also showcases the RTA’s planned timeline for driverless transportation in Dubai, starting with driverless metro cars, and moving on to driverless buses in allocated tracks on the city level, driverless taxis on allocated tracks on the city level, and finally driverless transport in the first and last mile by 2030.

This Smart Autonomous Vehicle has been on an experimental two-month run recently in the Business Bay district in cooperation with Dubai Properties and has claimed an overall satisfaction rating of 91 per cent,  the Dubai Media Office said in a statement on Saturday.

Driverless electric shuttle EZ10 against the backdrop of the towering Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Driverless electric shuttle EZ10 against the backdrop of the towering Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Photo courtesy: mediaoffice.ae

Ahmad Hashem Bahrozyan, CEO of Licensing Agency and Chairperson of RTA Smart Vehicles Committee, said, “The overall satisfaction rating of users has hit 91 per cent according to a survey covering 736 users. The satisfaction rating of vehicle safety specifications reached 92 per cent, while 91 per cent were interested in providing autonomous vehicles as a means of public transport. 80 per cent of respondents expected that the technology would improve traffic safety and reduce road accidents, while 82 per cent expected the technology would ease traffic congestion, and 90 per cent expected the technology to result in less fuel consumption.”

He also added, “The RTA is considering to broaden the use of the autonomous vehicle elsewhere in Dubai emirate including metro stations, malls and tourist attractions.”

Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.


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