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Abu Dhabi Launches World’s Biggest Self-Driving Car Race

The Autonomous Racing League will see 10 teams from around the world competing in specially built Dallara Super Formula cars.

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abu dhabi launches world's biggest self-driving car race
Aspire

Abu Dhabi has launched what it calls “the world’s biggest racing league for self-driving cars“. The vehicles use advanced technologies and AI, and the series is aimed at promoting driverless technology.

The Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League (A2RL) will take place on April 28, 2024, at the Yas Marina Circuit. The prize fund amounts to $2.25 million, with 10 teams competing for a slice of the winnings. Aspire, the development arm of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council, revealed its plans for the upcoming race at GITEX Global on Monday.

Autonomous race teams will mostly be made up of universities and research organizations. The event will see a number of countries involved, including the UAE, USA, China, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Singapore, and Switzerland.

For the race, teams will all use the same base vehicle, though they will be allowed to tweak its software algorithms. The machine itself is a brand new Italian-developed Dallara Super Formula SF23. The single-seater uses biocomposite panels made from a mixture of “flax fiber, cork, and recycled carbon fiber”. Weighing in at just under 700kg, the car is the fastest open-wheel racer outside of Formula One, capable of a max speed of 300kph.

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“We will combine state-of-the-art motor racing parts with robotic technology and AI to deliver an extreme sporting experience. Our racing is not just applicable to transportation. It is also useful in advancing sectors such as health care and logistics. And to that end, in addition to car racing, we will stage autonomous drone and buggy racing,” said Tom McCarthy, Aspire’s executive director.

Aspire is taking a similar approach to other autonomous race series, allowing all teams from previous self-driving competitions to participate, along with university-affiliated teams and public and private research institutions. Eventually, organizers hope that some of the advanced technology and robotics used in cars will filter down to regular production vehicles.

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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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