Dubai Trials Driverless Electric Abra, Combining Tradition and Technology

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Dubai has taken a leap forward in transportation innovation as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the commencement of trial operations for a driverless electric abra. These traditional boats, commonly seen gracefully navigating the Emirate’s waters, have been given a futuristic twist with the incorporation of autonomous technology.

Manufactured locally at the RTA’s Al Garhoud Marine Maintenance Centre, the driverless abra preserves the cherished heritage identity of abras while embracing the benefits of cutting-edge advancements. Able to accommodate up to eight riders, this autonomous vessel promises an extraordinary experience.

The inaugural journey of the driverless abra covered the distance from Al Jaddaf to the Festival City station on the iconic Dubai Creek. Passengers were undoubtedly enthralled by the seamless blend of tradition and modernity as they glided along the water, free from human intervention.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors at the RTA, expressed his excitement about the autonomous electric abra. He emphasized its remarkable features, including zero carbon emissions, lower operational and maintenance costs (up to 30% less than diesel-powered models), and a noise-free experience.

Equipped with two electric motors, the driverless abra can achieve a maximum speed of seven knots. Its autonomous control system and four lithium batteries ensure a continuous operating time of seven hours, making it a reliable and efficient mode of transportation. The RTA also implemented state-of-the-art technologies in designing the vessel’s structure, utilizing lightweight fiberglass in the hull to enhance its performance.

Dubai’s driverless electric abra is a testament to the city’s commitment to embracing sustainable technologies while preserving its rich heritage. As this revolutionary transportation system unfolds, the possibilities for a future where tradition meets innovation are boundless.

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