Dubai has always been known for its innovative plans. After announcing that self-driving taxis will run on Dubai roads by the end of 2023, Dubai has begun another trial of driverless electric abra boats in its city waters.
Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) initiated a trial run of the first autonomous electric abra from Al Jaddaf Station to the Festival City Station on Dubai Creek. The design of the abra, built locally at the RTA’s Al Garhoud Marine Maintenance Centre, maintains the heritage identity of traditional boats of the Gulf and the water vessel can carry up to eight passengers. The autonomous boat uses an innovative self-driving system fitted with advanced technology, cameras and sensors and is one of the world’s first trials in marine passenger transport.
The autonomous electric abra boasts several noteworthy features such as zero carbon emissions, a 30% increase in operational efficiency compared to diesel-powered models and complete noise elimination. Equipped with two electric motors capable of reaching a maximum speed of seven knots, it operates through an autonomous control system that is charged with four lithium batteries to offer a seven-hour uninterrupted ride.
The innovative marine systems ensure 100 % adherence to predetermined routes despite the effects of waves and wind. The systems also involve the detection of obstacles and notification of any system defect or deviation to the control centre and programming additional responses to handle emergency situations.
As part of its marine transport development master plan, RTA plans to launch more electric abras on the Dubai Creek including Bur Dubai, Deira Old Souk, Dubai Old Souk and more.
The rollout of autonomous vehicles reinforces Dubai’s smart and sustainable transport infrastructure. It further aims to transform 25% of Dubai’s mobility journeys into self-driving journeys by 2030 and also contributes to Dubai’s master plan to reduce carbon emissions from public transport as mandated by the Dubai Energy Department.
All claps to this innovation from RTA and keep the excitement on to ride in driverless abras in the future!