Driverless Taxis to Debut in UAE

Driverless taxis

If you don’t know to drive, taking a cab is the next best option in UAE. Anyone who’s driven in cabs here (or anywhere else for that matter) knows that cab drivers aren’t the best drivers around. Sadly, most cab drivers can’t even make up for their lack of driving skills with their knowledge of the roads. So we’re stuck with hanging on to the seats for our lives, praying to whichever god we believe in to deliver us safely to our destination.

But there may be hope! UAE will be rolling out electric driverless pod-taxis in Masdar City – Abu Dhabi’s carbon free city. The first taxis will be used to transport students to Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. The taxis will be driverless, their maximum speed would be 40 kph and they’d be following a specific path like a train.

All that’s fine and dandy but how do you tell a cab where you want to go? Swiping a card doesn’t seem the answer. And with the history of bungling anything that needs to be done by the public (Remember the ID card appointment fiasco?) the UAE is notorious for coming up with technology that is not user friendly.

Even though the idea is very new age, when I think of a driverless taxis – I think I would take my chances with the crazy cab driver.

Sources: The National, Switched.

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4 Responses to Driverless Taxis to Debut in UAE

  1. Sal says:

    Hmmm, a driverless taxi. This just seems like it could be a bit of a problem. What happens if someone “bumps” the taxi? It doesn’t look to sturdy. I wonder how exactly it is supposed to work…where is the UAE exclusive? ;)

  2. Samar says:

    Sal! Welcome! :D

    They’re supposed to have sensors around them or some such thing. Also, the taxis would be running on a train like track. There was also a rumour of them running underground. Let’s see what happens when they start :)

    Btw, Heathrow airport has similar taxis that takes travellers to their cars or taxis from the airport.

  3. gh says:

    how do you tell a cab where you want to go?

    Cab cab i want to go there!!

  4. Samar says:

    That’s a question on everyone’s mind. I doubt if they’ll be able to roll the taxi’s out on a mass scale. They’ll have set stops and the people will have to swipe a card or punch a stop number or some such thing.

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