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Thursday, June 1, 2023

We take a ride in a new driverless taxi in Abu Dhabi

But how are we doing..?

The UAE has been very transparent about its ambitions to pursue edge technologies and promote the development of “smart cities”. This pioneering spirit of the web has and will continue to lead to incredible innovations being developed and implemented in this country; the feeling that we are truly living in the future; Scroll through them horizontally at the same time. It’s a small price to pay.

Modes of transportation, especially taxis, seem to draw disproportionately strong attention from improvement projects. Flying taxis, robo-taxis, and of course flying robo-taxis.

the future is here

Operating on Yas and Saadiyat Islands, the smart transport project currently has a fleet of three autonomous rapid transit vehicles (tams), eight autonomous robotaxis and six robotic minibuses. This is a program co-authored by the Integrated Traffic Center and geospatial intelligence specialist Bayanat.AI.

Smart cars are currently touring Yas Island, equipped with a range of Q-Branch car audio equipment, including LiDER. They can seat seven and stop at nine strategic locations on Yas Island, including “W Hotel, Yas Waterworld, Yas Marina Circuit and Ferrari World”. And the best part – the service is free.

We picked a vehicle that is currently traveling around Saadiyat and here is what we thought.

How fast is it?

On Saadiyat Island, nothing happens particularly quickly. A leisurely jog in life is a big part of attraction. Easy, super-cold island living – requires no nitrous, no handbrake turns, no letting the vehicle out of any sweet hop policy, Txai abides by them. It tops out at around 20km/h and is very smooth.

Do you feel safe?

In addition to being moderately fast, the self-driving car we hopped into was wearing seatbelts and would slow down or pull over every time a car approached (uncommon on Saadiyat’s quiet roads). So it all feels very safe. We never imagined being kidnapped by sentient beings made by artificial intelligence and taken to hotel parking lots so that robot taxis could practice screeching donuts at their wheels. By the way, this sounds a lot like a leaked synopsis for a movie called Fast and FurAIious.

How many people can ride it?

You can squeeze about seven people in there and sit safely.

How do you hail these vehicles? How do you tell them where to go?

As mentioned above, transport here operates on pre-designated island loops with scheduled stops, so to be fair it’s more of a bus service than a taxi.

Is it really driverless?

Full disclosure, there is a gentleman in “Taxi”, but he assured us that his role is more of a supervisor than a driver, basically just to reassure the transiting public.

Image: Archive Contents

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