Abu Dhabi-Based Firm to Start First Driverless Car Trials in Middle East

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Abu Dhabi-based firm, Group 42, aims to start trials for the Middle East’s first driverless ride-sharing service this month in Abu Dhabi, and eventually launch the technology across the United Arab Emirates, Bloomberg reported.

According to Bloomberg, Group 42’s Bayanat unit will start the first phase of trials with five cars on Abu Dhabi’s entertainment destination, Yas Island. The vehicles will have a safety officer on board in the driving seat “to facilitate the operation and intervene in the event of any sudden occurrence to ensure the highest security and safety standards”, and will transport passengers between nine stops. The second phase is planned to have more cars distributed across multiple locations across the capital.

G42 plans to make the hardware technology available for purchase, and expects to launch a ride-hailing app when the program is made public.

Driverless Car Trials in UAE

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Earlier this year, Bayanat, a G42 unit, inked a cooperation agreement with the Department of Municipalities and Transport to start autonomous vehicle trials.

In April 2021, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority signed a deal with Cruise LLC, the self-driving car unit backed and majority owned by General Motors Co., to start operating self-driving taxis in Dubai in 2023.