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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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Hamad International Wins 2024 Skytrax World Airport Awards

The Qatar airport also won “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time, and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for the 10th year.

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hamad international wins 2024 skytrax world airport awards

Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha, Qatar, has once again won the “World’s Best Airport” title at the Skytrax World Airport Awards. The award ceremony, held at the Passenger Terminal Expo 2024 in Frankfurt, Germany, also saw Hamad clinch the accolade of “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time in a row and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for an impressive 10th consecutive year.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, who played a key role in the airport’s development over the past decade, said: “This is a remarkable achievement for Hamad International Airport, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary of operational excellence, connecting passengers seamlessly from all around the world. It is a testament to the dedication of our team and partners, who have contributed to providing passengers with the finest travel experience”.

hamad international airport doha qatar

Al-Meer emphasized the importance of understanding changing travel trends and the needs of modern air passengers: “At the heart of our growth strategy lies the passengers’ journey, their evolving needs, and our commitment to meeting and exceeding their expectations. We have introduced a diverse range of experiences at the airport, including Souq Al Matar, which brings Qatari hospitality and culture closer to travelers, “Orchard”, the ideal place for relaxation and rejuvenation between flights, and an array of high-end lounges”.

Also Read: Top E-Commerce Websites In The Middle East In 2024

Hamad International Airport saw a massive 31% surge in passenger traffic during 2023, with the transport hub now serving over 45 million passengers annually. The airport is now home to prestigious airlines, including Vistara, Iberia, Xiamen Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, and Japan Airlines, serving 250+ destinations for passenger and cargo flights.

The uptick in traffic is no doubt due to the completion of the first phase of an extensive expansion project. Hamad’s management intends to radically update the airport’s facilities over the coming years in a bid to create the “airport of the future”. The expansion features a unique and calming environment of lush greenery and several contemporary dining and shopping concepts among the already well-equipped leisure facilities.

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