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Sat 17 Dec 2016 01:00 AM

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New driverless car technology to be tested in the UAE

Roadway, Transportation, and Traffic Safety Research Centre completes six years of research, to test system in Al Ain

New driverless car technology to be tested in the UAE
A driverless vehicle test was recently run in Downtown Dubai. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

The Roadway, Transportation, and Traffic Safety Research Centre (RTTSRC) at United Arab Emirates University has announced that it is working on a new intelligent transportation system to enable driverless cars to communicate on the roads.

A research team, led by professor Yaser E Hawas, director of the RTTSRC, has worked on the project funded by the university in collaboration with Tata Consulting Group for six years, a statement said.

The plan for the inter-vehicular communication system is based on an algorithm that enables vehicles to use real-time route guidance in urban traffic networks and is now ready to be tested, the statement said.

Hawas said: “The wow factor is we are now collaborating with Tata and we are going to have a deployment test in Al Ain. We are going to equip six vehicles to do the field testing – each vehicle is going to send information to the other vehicles – and we are then going to see how this information is going to be propagated.”

The algorithm enables communication between a ‘searcher’ vehicle and ‘candidate’ vehicles whose origin matches the destination of the searcher vehicle, and traveling in the opposite direction.

This information can then be used to calculate in the simplest way the shortest path for each vehicle from its current position to the destination, he said.

“Currently, the fully autonomous vehicles available move in the network assuming that they know where to go,” said Hawas. “But the one that we are testing enables the vehicles to change their routes and get better ones to reach the destination using the information that they receive from other vehicles.”

The team is developing the hardware and software solutions of all the devices that will enable vehicle-to-vehicle communication between the six cars, including GPS and communication capabilities that will enable the vehicles to locate each other and redirect vehicles automatically in real-time to reach their aimed destinations in the network.

Following the deployment test, Hawas said the university will prepare technical papers detailing the results of the test.

The RTTSRC was established in June 2004, with the objective to boost the university’s role in serving the community developmental goals in the fields of road engineering, transportation and traffic safety research.

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