Doha, Qatar: Following the Autonomous Vehicles Strategy, the Ministry of Transport is working to build the necessary infrastructures for Level 3 autonomous vehicles which are considered conditionally automated where the system can handle itself in most driving situations.

In Level 3, if the systems fail, the driver still needs to be ready to take over. Rather, Level 3 automation is designed for tasks that don’t require a lot of complex manoeuvring, like long highway drives.

“Under the strategy, we are focusing (on readying the infrastructure) for Level 3 autonomous vehicles in Qatar,” said Project Manager of Public Transport Department at the Ministry of Transportation Mesned Ali Al Misned.

Speaking to Qatar TV, he said that the strategy will be developed to keep pace with the emerging technology of autonomous vehicles to adopt it whenever it is ready to use in a bigger way.

“We are expecting major changes in the sector of autonomous vehicles in the coming five years. In the Ministry of Transport, we are keen to keep pace with fast developing technologies in the public transit system of the world,” said Al Misned.

Since the autonomous vehicle is the latest technology in the transport sector of the world, he said that the Ministry conducted a study assessing this emerging technology.

“We launched an Autonomous Vehicles Strategy focusing on those points which the country needs to develop to get fully ready for starting operation of such vehicles,” said Al Misned.

“It is a five-year strategy during which we focus on seven main points such as the development of infrastructure of technology, cyber-security aspect and enacting necessary legislations. Now we are working and will keep working during the coming years to cover these areas.”

He said that the autonomous vehicles have different levels from 1 to 5. “With higher levels, the human intervention declines as an autonomous vehicle of Level 5 does not need a driver however Level 5 is not implemented so far in any part of the world.

Aiming to provide smart, and environmentally conscious transit systems, the Ministry of Transport launched Autonomous Vehicles Strategy in September this year.

The Autonomous Vehicles Strategy features the execution of a plan over the coming five years to regulate the terms and conditions of using such vehicles in Qatar.

The Ministry is currently working on studying the standards and specifications of electric vehicles (EVs), in conjunction with the bodies concerned, to approve the minimum technical specifications and safety standards of EVs, in addition to establishing a centre for inspecting and verifying EVs’ specifications conformity and issuing approval certificates required.

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