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Wed 27 Nov 2019 11:27 AM

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First semi-autonomous heavy vehicle tested on Dubai-Abu Dhabi road

Self-driving cars could hit UAE roads by 2021, according to the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology

First semi-autonomous heavy vehicle tested on Dubai-Abu Dhabi road

The 140km trip by the Mercedes Actros truck was announced by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) at the 5th International Conference on Future Mobility (ICFM).


A Mercedes car has completed the first ever semi-autonomous heavy vehicle road trip between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in a bid to test how it fares with challenges including hot weather and traffic movements.

The 140km trip by the Actros truck was announced by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) at the 5th International Conference on Future Mobility (ICFM).

It was conducted on a regular road instead of a testing track in order to assess the car’s reaction to moving vehicles on normal roads, Abdulla Abdulqader Al Maeeni, Director General at ESMA said.

The main challenges it faces include sudden movement and breaks from other cars as well as extreme hot weather.

Al Maeeni said earlier this week that self-driving cars could hit UAE roads by 2021.

A draft law by ESMA which proposes regulations related to insurance, traffic departments, registration, technical requirements, connectivity and safety and security will be discussed this week and could be adopted soon, according to the top official.

An electric future

The exhibition also featured a display of electronic vehicles (EVs) from manufacturers including BMW, Porsche, Chevrolet, Jaguar Land Rover and more, with Mitsubishi displaying its e-Evolution concept car and all-electric five-seater SUV Outlander PHEV, while BMW unveiled its luxury i3S 120Ah Advance and i8 Roadster.

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