Abu Dhabi on Wednesday -  The Integrated Transport Centre of the Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with Bayanat for Mapping and Surveying Services —a subsidiary of Group 42, and a pioneering firm in artificial intelligence and cloud computing revealed at the Abu Dhabi Smart City Summit the self-driving vehicle and launch date of the first pilot phase of “TXAI”, which is a new service that utilizes self-driving taxis to transport passengers on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.  

This service is also conducted in coordination and cooperation with Miral, within the strategic partnership framework between Miral and the ITC, which aims at improving the quality of transport services available to the residents and visitors of Yas Island. Additionally, the service aids in facilitating movement and ensures a smooth traffic flow which reinforces Miral’s vision of enhancing Yas Island’s position as a global destination for entertainment, recreation and business.

The first phase consists of 5 smart vehicles that provide transport services of passengers within a network of routes linking hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, offices and public facilities on Yas Island, where residents and visitors of the island will be able to enjoy advanced and sustainable transport services that guarantees their comfort and safety during each trip. The service would be accessible from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, through the “TXAI” app which will be available in all app stores.  

The launch of the new service is based on a cooperation agreement previously signed between the Department of Municipalities and Transport and Bayanat, as a result of which the trial operation of self-driving vehicles was carried out in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Falah Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), said: "This project is one of the bold regional steps in employing accurate data-driven artificial intelligence techniques within the transport network, which is part of DMT and the Integrated Transport Centre's efforts to provide innovative services that contribute to enhancing the quality of life in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and strengthen its position globally as one of the best destinations to live, work and invest, by employing all smart and modern technologies in all vital sectors serving the community. "

H.E. added: "DMT is continuously working with its partners in Bayanat and Miral to test the safety of the vehicles, in addition to overseeing the operations to ensure that a state-of-the-art service is provided in a safe and distinctive manner, and to ensure compliance with the UAE traffic laws and regulations. "

This project stems out of the ITC’s keenness and unwavering efforts to constantly improve the services provided to members of society by keeping pace with the digital development in the transport sector and operating state-of-the-art technologies in the service of society, which aims at providing a distinct and integrated transport experience across various regions in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The ITC accentuated that the second phase of the project will comprise at least 10 autonomous vehicles, distributed across different areas in the city of Abu Dhabi.

The service at this point has been classified as Level 4 Autonomous Driving, whereby the vehicle can perform all driving tasks under almost all conditions without any human intervention. Although the vehicles will be self-driving, a safety officer will occupy the driving seat during the first and second operational phases, to intervene in the event of any sudden occurrence.  That is to ensure that the highest standards of security and safety are implemented.  The operated vehicles are characterized by high standards of safety and security, which include cameras and sensors that forecast conditions of the road and maintain the vehicle’s connection with its external surroundings to avoid collision with any object.  

In addition, Bayanat provides a self-driving vehicle management system and has conducted comprehensive testing for safety and security levels to ensure full compliance with the UAE traffic law.

In this context, the ITC explained that the service of transporting passengers with self-driving taxis supports its efforts towards establishing a safe and sustainable transport environment, that keeps pace with the development in the transport sector and makes mobility trips in the Abu Dhabi Emirate available to the public through mobile applications in a smart, fast and convenient way. This service also supports the Department of Municipalities and Transport's strategy to utilize self-driving vehicles within an integrated and sustainable transport system that enriches the experience of individuals, improves the quality of services provided to the emirate's residents and visitors, and supports local development in its various dimensions.

The DMT has worked during the previous period, in coordination and cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, to establish the legislative, regulatory and supervisory structure necessary for the use of self-driving vehicles and to prepare the necessary regulations and manuals for self-driving vehicles in Abu Dhabi, especially at levels 3 and 4 (levels of automation of self-driving vehicles).

This was conducted in the effort to adopt security standards for smart transportation that guarantee the security of communications and software used in the autonomous vehicle and any additional necessary measures to ensure the highest levels of safety, security and operational efficiency in this sector.

It is worth noting that self-driving vehicles are vehicles that are able to sense the surrounding environment and navigate without human intervention, since they rely on mapping algorithms and data obtained from multiple sensors installed into them to determine the route of the road. The model sensors include radar-like technical systems and a stereoscopic vision system, GPS, Optical Object Recognition and Real-time Positioning System.


About the Integrated Transport Centre in Abu Dhabi:

The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) has been established pursuant to the law issued by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his capacity as the ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, on November 2016, in amendment of Law no. 19 of 2006 regarding Taxi regulation in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. ITC is affiliated with the Department of Municipalities and Transport and is supervised by it.

ITC is the responsible entity for operating public transport and managing parking spaces, traffic monitoring centres, axle weights stations, logistical facilities of freight surface transport and roads sector according to the approved transport plans in which improves the quality of services offered in the sector. In addition to supporting the efforts dedicated by Abu Dhabi Government to accomplish a balanced and comprehensive development that nurtures an intelligent, integrated and sustainable transport sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Integrated Transport Centre official website: https://itc.gov.ae 
ITC social media accounts: @itcabudhabi
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/itcabudhabi/
LinkedIn:  https://ae.linkedin.com/company/itcabudhabi/
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/itcabudhabi/
Facebook:  https://m.facebook.com/ITCAbuDhabi/ 

For more information or inquiries, please contact:
Batool Nabhani
Chief Media Coordinator - Media Affairs Division
Integrated Transport Centre in Abu Dhabi
Email: batool.nabhani@itc.gov.ae  

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