Dubai is in love with the idea of driverless transport, with the government pledging to have 25% of all trips around the city completed by automated systems in the next 15 years.
The autonomous dream has taken a step closer to reality today, with autonomous transportation specialists 2getthere being awarded a hefty contract to deploy a brand new driverless bus network around the Bluewaters district.
Dubai’s newest development, Bluewaters, is going to be home to the world’s largest observation wheel – Ain Dubai. To cater for the increased footfall and tourism around the Bluewaters Island area, a fleet of 25 driverless minibuses will be rolled out.
Speaking to Time Out Dubai, CEO of 2getthere Carel Van Helsdingen said the fun won’t stop at Bluewaters.
“We’re focusing on projects connecting transportation systems in the last mile across the city,” he said. “Sheikh Mohammed’s 2030 automated transport policy is 100% in line with our ambitions, and we will continue to work with the Dubai and Abu Dhabi governments on future projects.”
Van Helsdingen also confirmed to us that the project will see prototype testing begin by the third quarter of 2017, with a view to a live launch by end of 2018, following the anticipated launch of Bluewaters at the start of next year.
2getthere says the robotic fleet, being developed in partnership with RTA, will be capable of connecting nearly 4,000 people per hour per direction, with the possibility of increasing capacity to 5,000 people. The line will carry passengers from the Nakheel Harbour and Tower Metro stations connecting to the Bluewaters Island in less than five minutes.