Dubai is testing a driverless mini bus intending to expanding it across the region. The bus, a ten-seat vehicle, made its first trial run on Thursday, September 01, 2016, along a 700-metre road in downtown Dubai next to Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. It is being developed jointly by Easy Mile, a France-based company, and Omnix, a Dubai-based enterprise. The minibus will be powered by an electric motor and can travel at a speed of 40 kilometres (25 miles) per hour. As per the news came from its developers, the bus, controlled by the latest cutting-edge guidance technology, will be able to adapt its speed to the surrounding environment and come to halt if pedestrians were to cross its path.
One of the main attractions of these types of buses is that they can easily be programmed to navigate between the city’s major tourist hubs such as the Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, the Souk al-Bahar shopping centre, and the Dubai Opera House, says RTA (the emirate’s Road Transport Authority) in a statement. RTA official Ahmed Bahrozyan stated that the Thursday trial run was the first and critical stage in their efforts to launch driverless vehicles into the heart of Dubai. RTA is planning to have a quarter of all Dubai transportation automated by the year 2030, says Mattar al-Tayer, RTA’s director general.
Being the largest city in the UAE, Dubai is the leading tourist destination in the Middle East, alluring approximately 14.2 million visitors a year. Most cities in the world have direct flights to Dubai. Over 120 airlines operate to and from Dubai Airport to more than 260 destinations, making Dubai one of the world’s busiest airport.