might not be flying taxis, but self-driving taxis on the road started test runs in Dubai on Sunday.
At the technology show, GITEX Technology Week, Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority, or RTA, showed off its autonomous taxi service.
Launching the test run of the first ‘Autonomous Taxi’ in #GITEX2018. For more details about our initiatives, visit our stand S2C1 at Sheikh Saeed Hall in the Dubai World Trade Centre. pic.twitter.com/GjNqmcFL2n
— RTA (@RTA_Dubai) October 13, 2018
The driverless car service kicked off at the show and will run for the next three months in select parts of the city, according to transportation officials.
The cars are intended to connect passengers during the "first and last mile" to get from existing transportation systems to, say, a shopping mall or movie theater or other venue or to get back home.
The RTA said the cars go up about 20 mph and fit four passengers. Up front is a safety driver who can take over the car if needed. In promotional materials the cars are depicted without anyone in the front seat for a truly driverless experience, hinting at what the transportation agency could introduce later. The cars are modified Mercedes-Benz sedans with cameras, sensors, and LiDAR system built into the car.
The taxis come after Dubai tested self-driving passenger drones for an air-based taxi system. That service hasn't taken off yet for the general public to use.
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