The government of Qatar has made an agreement with the Volkswagen group to create a public transportation composed of self-driving buses and shuttles by 2022. These autonomous automobiles will begin operation in the country’s capital, Doha.
According to Tech Crunch, an agreement was officially signed just last Saturday between the Qatar Investment Authority and the Volkswagen group. This agreement includes four brands, namely Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID), MOIA, Scania and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
Autonomous Cars May Soon Offer Public Transport in Doha
Old Integrated With the New
This agreement highlights the importance of integrating this new autonomous transport system into the currently existing transport system of Doha. This implies that the plan is a wide-scale implementation, developing an entire transportation system which includes the legal framework, infrastructure of the city, the software, and the vehicles themselves.
Innovation for Progress
With this move, Doha is looking years ahead into the future of what urban living looks like. In fact, according to Mansoor Al Mahmood, chief executive of the Qatar Investment Authority, this innovative collaboration with Volkswagen is necessary for progress. Al Mahmood says, “for our cities to progress we need a new wave of innovation.”
Mahmood adds that the city of Doha needs transportation technologies that are enabled by artificial intelligence and are free of emissions, among others. This modernization is geared towards the future of urban mobility, greatly reducing traffic congestion and enhancing efficiency of engines.
Plans are for Volkswagen to usher in 35 autonomous electric ID Buzz vehicles, each having the capacity to carry four passengers in routes located around Doha’s perimeter. A larger group of passengers, on the other hand, can enjoy traveling in one of 10 autonomous Scania buses. Testing this revolutionary mode of transportation will begin in the year 2020. A year after that, it is likely the government will open its first trial runs.
Why Driverless Public Transit is Important
A fascinating study by the International Transport Forum revealed that self-driving cars, including autonomous public transit, could actually cut traffic. In addition, autonomous cars don’t have to wait around for passengers, and so the simulation showed that the amount of cars that need to park on the streets is cut by 20%, and off the street parking is reduced by 80%.
With the increasing number of commuters and cars in urban areas all over the world, it makes sense to embrace innovations such as these. Qatar is once again at the forefront of building the city of the future.