Dubai’s first driverless abra goes on trial run

Estimated read time 2 min read

The self-driving electric abra in Dubai. RTA

A self-driving abra is now on a trial run in Dubai as the emirate launched its first driverless, electric traditional wooden boat.

The first journey on the electric self-driving abra was from Al Jadaf Station to the Festival City Station on Dubai Creek. It has a maximum speed of seven knots, or 13kph.

The “next generation” abra can carry up to eight passengers. It also has spaces for two wheelchairs, as well as life jackets and card payment systems.

The modern abra is equipped with GPS and smart cameras to help it navigate with ease on the Dubai Creek. It sticks to a given route and can detect obstacles and take necessary action. The self-driving abra can run for seven hours per charge.

According to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), an onboard captain “acts only as a supervisor to intervene if needed”.

Mattar Al Tayer, director general of RTA, said that the autonomous abra is part of Dubai’s plans to have 25 percent driverless transport by 2030.

Dubai also plans to increase the capacity of its abra stations by 33 percent. Last year, Dubai recorded a total of 16 million passengers on its marine transport. ICA/Expat Media

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