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Qatar unveils autonomous, electric transport initiative

The goal of Project Qatar Mobility is to develop a sustainable and commercial deployment of autonomous driving shuttles and bus services.

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QIA and Volkswagen will work together on the project. Image: PRNewsfoto/Qatar Investment Authority
QIA and Volkswagen will work together on the project. Image: PRNewsfoto/Qatar Investment Authority

Qatar intends to introduce a fleet of self-driving emission-free electric shuttles to help improve urban mobility by 2022.

 

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has partnered with Volkswagen to deliver the world’s first emission-free, electric and autonomous public transport system in time for the next football World Cup.

 

Autonomous driving

 

The goal of Project Qatar Mobility is to develop a “sustainable and commercial deployment” of autonomous driving shuttles and bus services.

 

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania, MOIA and AID-Autonomous Intelligent Driving will play key roles in the project.

 

The project seeks to create a holistic ecosystem for autonomous driving, including the creation of an appropriate legal framework, smart city infrastructure and transfer of knowledge, which can be used as a blueprint to transform urban mobility, both in Qatar and beyond.

 

QIA and Volkswagen will work together to develop the required physical and digital infrastructure to integrate a fleet of self-driving vehicles into capital city Doha’s existing public transport network.

 

Buzz AD from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will shuttle up to four passengers at a time in the Westbay area on semi-fixed routes, while high-tech Scania buses will pick up larger groups.

 

Volkswagen Group’s units AID and MOIA will provide the app software to run the service.

 

“AI-enabled, emission-free transportation technologies will help advance urban mobility, while diminishing congestion and improving energy efficiency”

 

Closed testing of the shuttle vehicles and buses is expected to begin in 2020 and trials will start as early as 2021. The project will go live during 2022, providing a technical showcase of future autonomous driving.

 

2025 strategy

 

“Project Qatar Mobility will play a very important role in our Strategy Together 2025+, addressing the economic growth, social development and environmental management challenges identified as part of our vision and underlines our commitment to investing in next-generation mobility,” said Dr Herbert Diess, chairman of Volkswagen.

 

“We will be experiencing real-world learnings and use the project as a stepping stone for generations to come.”

 

“For our cities to progress, we need a new wave of innovation. AI-enabled, emission-free transportation technologies will help advance urban mobility, while diminishing congestion and improving energy efficiency,” added Mansoor Al Mahmoud, CEO of QIA.

 

We are proud that QIA has been able to partner with Volkswagen to ensure that Qatar is at the forefront of these new technologies. The development of a smart transport solution will help transform the future of urban mobility, both at home and around the world.”

 

“For our cities to progress we need a new wave of innovation.”

 

Last week, Doha announced completion of its driverless metro network in time for the FIFA Club World Cup with the opening of the green line and the second section of the red line. RKH Qitarat (the joint venture of Keolis, RATP Dev and the Hamad Group) was awarded the 20-year contract by Qatar Rail, which covers operation and maintenance of the entire metro network comprising three lines and 37 stations, as well as the Lusail tram network expected to open in 2020.

 

This is the country’s first urban rail network and a key part of Qatar Vision 2030, a strategic plan established by the Qatari government designed to enhance Doha’s appeal by diversifying and improving shared mobility options.

 

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The newly completed Doha metro. Copyright Qatar Rail
The newly completed Doha metro. Copyright Qatar Rail
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