Dubai to trial a self-driving taxi service 

  • Trial run will last three months and begin towards the end of this year.
  • Dubai wants to turn 25 percent of mass transit journeys into autonomous ones by 2030.
Burj Khalifa at night
CaoWei | Moment | Getty Images

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has unveiled what it describes as the region's first autonomous taxi.

In a statement Sunday, the RTA said the technology underscored its commitment to enhance the Dubai government's strategy to turn 25 percent of mass transit journeys in the emirate into autonomous ones by 2030.

Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of the RTA's Public Transport Agency, said that the vehicle featured "high safety and security standards" and was able to monitor objects that had the potential to trigger collisions.

Bahrozyan said that a three month trial run of the vehicle would start toward the end of 2018 on designated routes.

"The vehicle can drive at a speed of up to 35km (kilometers) per hour and can accommodate four riders including a standby driver in the cabin," he added.

"The driver's service can be called in when the vehicle experiences a potential technical glitch by pressing a button, which shifts the operation from autonomous driving to the human driving mode."

As technology develops, a number of "self-driving" milestones are being reached in countries around the world.

In August 2018, for example, the Hyundai Motor Company announced that the first journey by an autonomous truck on a highway in South Korea had taken place.

The auto firm's Xcient truck, which has a maximum load capacity of 40 tons, drove around 40 kilometers between Uiwang and Incheon.

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