The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) has announced progress with a smart transportation project on Yas Island and Saadiyat Island, which features a fleet of eight TXAI autonomous vehicles, stated to be the first fully automated self-driving taxis in the UAE.
Initially, five TXAIs were launched in November 2021, with three more added to the fleet in November 2022. At present, the Robotaxis have more than 5,000 registered users and have fulfilled 17,000 passenger journeys. Alongside the Robotaxis, four mini Robobuses were introduced in November 2022 to provide efficient and sustainable transportation solutions for users on the islands.
“The smart transport project is a crucial component of Abu Dhabi’s smart transport strategy, which aims to adopt smart and sustainable transport solutions driven by knowledge and innovation,” said H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport.
“This initiative aligns with Abu Dhabi’s future vision of developing smart cities and achieving sustainable growth in the emirate. By collaborating with strategic partners from the government and private sectors, the DMT and ITC are working toward establishing a smart, integrated and sustainable transport system that fulfills the futuristic vision set by our wise leadership.
“The project sets the scene for a new stage of developing an environment-friendly and sustainable transport sector in the emirate, which encourages more investment in the economy and tourism, especially as the transport sector is one of the most important drivers of growth that supports businesses and adds to the competitive advantage for economic activities in many other sectors.”
Recently, Chinese autonomous vehicle company WeRide was granted the first national-level autonomous driving license, enabling it to carry out road tests and autonomous driving operations in the country.
The ITC plans to conduct further testing of the AVs over the coming months, with vehicle performance assessed under high passenger loading conditions in the hot summer weather. At the same time, the ITC will evaluate the upscaling of AV operations, in addition to the legislations and regulations required to safely conduct autonomous driving operations.
“WeRide has been actively expanding its autonomous driving products and services internationally. Middle East is one of our key target markets,” said a WeRide spokesperson. “This March, we officially established our Middle East office in the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone. Obtaining this very first national-level license will for sure speed up and scale up our local development.”