The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Dubai Properties have started the test run of driverless vehicles, each capable of carrying 10 persons, over a 650 metre long track in Business Bay.
The move follows the success of the first and second phases of the trial operation of smart vehicles in the Dubai World Trade Centre and the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard.
“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 the Dubai World Trade Centre, and the second trial in the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in coordination with Emaar,” said Ahmed Bahrozyan, chief executive officer, RTA’s Licensing Agency and Chairman of Smart Vehicles Committee.
“This trial is part of RTA’s plan to test the technologies and operation of autonomous vehicles under the climatic conditions of Dubai, educate community members about autonomous vehicles, and sensitise the people about government’s strategy for smart vehicles aimed at converting 25 percent of total mobility journeys in Dubai to various types of driverless transit means by 2030.
“The practice also seeks to probe people’s perception about autonomous transport through a questionnaire to capture their views and satisfaction rating,” he said.
Satisfaction rating clocked 95 percent for autonomous vehicles tested at the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard from September 1 to October 5 this year, whilst the test run in Dubai World Trade Centre during Ramadan 2015 also had yielded satisfaction rating of 92 percent, RTA said.
“RTA is considering broadening the deployment of autonomous vehicles in other areas of Dubai including metro stations, malls and tourist spots.
“It 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 centres, residential complexes and parks,” Bahrozyan said.
Dubai Properties said it was keen on utilising the advanced technologies and innovations under the smart mobility and autonomous vehicles initiative charted out by the government. It is offering autonomous vehicle experience to visitors and residents of Bay Avenue as well.