Dubai Trials Autonomous Shuttle Service

Omnix

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has unveiled a month-long trial of its first driverless shuttle service in the Gulf city state.

The 10-seater bus was built by Omnix International and Easy Mile, and is designed to travel short distances over pre-programmed routes in “multi-use environments,” the RTA said.

The autonomous vehicle dubbed EZ10, is an electric shuttle that can run in both directions as it has no specific front or rear.

The trial run, a joint venture between RTA and Emaar Properties, is part of Dubai’s push to adopt smart mobility solutions in its attempt to become the smartest city in the world.

The driverless vehicle will provide free rides to all commuters as it runs along a 700-metre (2,300-foot) stretch of road in downtown Dubai, near the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower.

Thursday’s test run was “the first and very important stage in our efforts to introduce this type of vehicle into Dubai’s transport network,” RTA official Ahmed Bahrozyan told AFP.

Dubai aims to make 25% of all “mobility journeys” driverless by 2030, the RTA said.  A survey will be run to gauge the views of residents and visitors on the driverless shuttle, it said.