Al Zahia deployed the first driverless car in the UAE to support the health and wellbeing of residents
Sharjah Holding PJSC, a strategic partnership between Majid Al Futtaim Properties and Sharjah Asset Management, has announced a collaboration between the Al Zahia community and the Ministry of Health and Prevention to deploy autonomous vehicles in the community to support residents amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Since its recent launch, the vehicles, known as AI Mobility Service Cars, have been traversing the community offering free sanitising products including face masks, gloves, and hand sanitiser to help preserve the health and safety of residents across Al Zahia. The initiative marks the first time autonomous vehicles have been deployed across a residential community in the UAE in support of resident wellbeing.
Homeowners will hear the vehicle’s catchy song and slogan as the car navigates the community on a pre-programmed route. To access products, community members can stop the car simply by waving their hand as though hailing a taxi. The products will then be dispensed free of charge before the car continues on its route.
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Powered by technology companies Huawei and Neolix, the car incorporates an advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) ‘brain’ to travel the neighbourhood safely. In addition to being familiar with the
Al Zahia community through HD mapping, the vehicle also intelligently analyses its surroundings using a combination of cameras and sensors to detect people, animals, and other cars within range. A digital screen also features on the vehicle’s front to share messages with the community.
Shadi Al Azzeh at Majid Al Futtaim – Al Zahia Projects Head, said, “We’re honoured to have been chosen by the Ministry of Health and Prevention as the first residential community to roll out this initiative. From the very beginning we’ve served our residents by being human-centric in everything we do, and the arrival of this autonomous, contact-less vehicle to the streets of Al Zahia is the perfect example of our thinking in action. We’re supporting our residents even when we’re encouraged to be apart through a very creative application of the latest technology available.”
The car measures 2.4 metres cubed and has a 500-kilogram load capacity, comparable to that of a minivan. With over 160 items stored in the vehicle, which are restocked frequently by Al Zahia’s community management team, residents can enjoy peace of mind that they’re well equipped to protect themselves and their families.