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Driverless taxis take to the roads in Abu Dhabi

All cars have a safety officer on board

If you haven’t yet seen the driverless taxis on trial on Abu Dhabi roads, your wait has ended.

Abu Dhabi authorities on Monday released a video of driverless taxis plying on the streets in the emirate. The video shows the taxis, fitted with navigation equipment on their rooftops, gently taking a turn onto a main road, their steering wheels turning on their own even as an official sits in the driving seat.

This video is part of the Mubadala-backed Group 42’s trials for the Middle East’s first driverless ride-sharing service – TXAI – which started earlier this month.

Group 42’s Bayanat began with five cars on Yas Island, which is home to a Formula One race track and the Ferrari World theme park. All cars have a safety officer on board.

“The environmentally friendly electric vehicles equipped with sensors combined with a smart geographical ecosystem and supported by artificial intelligence will help develop TXAI’s driverless capabilities,” said Hasan Al Hosani, CEO of Bayanat, in the video.

A second phase of the trial will include more vehicles in multiple locations across Abu Dhabi. G42 expects to launch a ride-hailing app when the programme is made public, and plans to make the hardware technology available for purchase so it can be installed on other vehicles.

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