There is every possibility that we will soon be seeing autonomous vehicles on Dubai roads. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is planning to conduct a pathbreaking test for autonomous vehicles (AV) at the traffic signals on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai.
As part of the test, which will be conducted over a distance of 550 metres, an AV which has the capacity to seat 6-8 passengers will pass through three traffic lights and travel from the underground parking at Burj Park, make its way to Dubai Mall and return. The test will be conducted initially as part of a park and ride service for members of the staff at the Dubai.
This will not be the first time that the RTA is conducting such tests. Last year, the RTA had tested an autonomous bus named EZ10 but it moved slowly at a speed of 10-15km/h while moving through pedestrian areas and dedicated cycle lanes. It did not have to tackle any traffic signals.
According to Mattar Al Tayer, RTA director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors, this latest test of an autonomous vehicle will be the first such test conducted worldwide in terms of using technology and customizing the infrastructure for the crossing of roads by autonomous vehicles.
The test which will be conducted over a dedicated route, will be of immense use in developing guidelines for SAE Level 3 AV shuttle trials that will involve interaction with traffic signals and safe netotiation of road crossings.
Level 3 is conditional automation and this means that all aspects of driving will be automated with the expectation that the human driver will respond appropriately to a request to intervene.
The test will also involve stepping up the game when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT). The AV will be connected to the RTA’s Enterprise Command & Control Centre (EC 3) and the vehicle will receive information in fractions of a second about approaching vehicles, pedestrians and traffic condition thanks to the use of Short Range Communications (SRC) delivered by 4G LTE.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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