The roads of Dubai and Abu Dhabi will be patrolled by police smart cars in time for World Expo 2020, the UAE government has revealed.
The cars will be equipped with remote control features, cameras and radars, and will help police handle the 25 million visitors expected to attend the mega event, which will be staged in Dubai from October 2020 to April 2021.
The concept of the Smart Patrol project was conceived by Mubara Abdul Rahman Al Hashemi, an employee at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi.
In a statement issued by officials, Al Hashemi explained that the vehicles will be linked to the Operations Room at Abu Dhabi Police, in addition to a number of hi-tech features, which aims to maintain road security by spreading the traffic safety culture, and enforcing the law.
The first driverless cars could also hit the roads of Dubai and the wider UAE in time for the expo, says professor Karim Karam, who is exploring opportunities to roll out smart mobility concepts across the country - an initiative he is spearheading at the Department of Engineering Systems Management at Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.
The driverless cars would pick you up from home, identify the quickest, safest and most energy-efficient route, find a parking space and pay for a virtual ticket with digital currency. They could also tell you when they need a service and send diagnostics so passengers can optimise the vehicle’s performance.
Professor Karam notes that Google, Apple and Mercedes-Benz are working on driverless vehicle prototypes.
The Masdar Institute has pioneered robotic cars called Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) pods – small unmanned electric cars that follow pre-programmed routes, guided by magnetic sensors buried in the paths surrounding the technology campus. These vehicles have been transporting Masdar City workers from the car park to the institute since 2010.