By Omar Abdulla
Abu Dhabi is currently testing self-driving taxis through a pilot program. With the help of mapping algorithms and data obtained from multiple sensors, autonomous vehicles can sense the environment and navigate without requiring assistance from humans.
A statement from Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transport stated that the first phase will see five smart vehicles deployed along various routes connecting hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, offices and public facilities on Yas Island.
The statement says Yas Island Development Miral will coordinate and cooperate on this project. The company said the service will be offered from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm through the TXAI app, which is available in all app stores.
The Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) says: “This project is one of the bold regional steps in employing accurate data-driven artificial intelligence techniques within the transport network.”
During the second phase of the project, at least ten autonomous vehicles will be deployed in different areas of Abu Dhabi.
At the moment, the service is classified as Level 4 autonomous driving, meaning that almost any driving task can be conducted by the vehicle without human intervention. Even though the vehicles will be self-driven, a safety officer will be on the wheel in the first and second phases of operation in case of an emergency.