Autonomous Boats Being Tested in Dubai

Dubai is testing autonomous passenger boats as part of its ongoing effort to accelerate the introduction of self-driving transport.

The Emirate plans for 25% of all journeys to be completed autonomously by 2030 and has seen several programs and initiatives launched over the past 18 months.

Now the focus is on “abras,” traditional boats made of wood that are among the oldest and most popular modes of transport in Dubai.

The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has revealed that tests have been carried out on a hi-tech, electric-powered abra with automated capabilities between Jaddaf Station and Dubai Festival City Station on Dubai Creek.

The craft was designed locally by the RTA’s Garhoud Marine Maintenance Workshop, to preserve the familiar look but incorporate the equipmentrequired to deliver autonomous functionality.