UAE shortens distances on land, sea, air through smart, sustainable vehiclesTue 13 Feb 2024
Dubai: The UAE is making strides in smart and sustainable transportation, showcasing innovations like air taxis and self-driving vehicles. At the World Governments Summit 2024, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai announced plans to launch an air taxi service commercially by 2026, marking a significant step toward a future with electric air mobility.
Dubai will pioneer this urban air mobility with electric air taxis, using advanced vertical take-off and landing facilities. The “Joby S4” air taxi can carry four passengers and a pilot, with a flying range of 161 kilometers and speeds up to 321 kilometers per hour. The initial phase will cover key areas like downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, and near Dubai International Airport.
Moreover, Dubai recently tested its first self-driving electric abra, an eight-passenger vessel produced locally. It boasts zero carbon emissions, lower operating costs, and silent operation compared to diesel-powered counterparts. This electric abra, equipped with autonomous control and lithium batteries, operates for up to seven hours.
The UAE showcases leadership in sustainable land transport with initiatives like the smart mobility project in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island and Saadiyat Island. Seventeen autonomous vehicles operate under the “TXAI” brand across these islands without accidents since December 2023. Abu Dhabi also introduced self-driving electric buses resembling trams, providing service on regular roads.
Dubai’s RTA and Cruise conducted supervised trials of autonomous vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt in Jumeirah 1. Since 2018, Dubai has integrated self-driving vehicles into public transportation, starting with the Sustainable City in Dubailand and later in Silicon Oasis.
These initiatives reflect the UAE’s commitment to sustainable and smart transportation, positioning it among global leaders in adopting such technologies. The government approved licenses for self-driving vehicles and policies for electric vehicles, aiming to boost the economy and create jobs through smart and self-driving vehicle complexes by 2040.