Self-driving, all-electric cab set to begin test drive in Jumeirah 1 area in December
Photo by Shihab
Flying cars, futuristic vehicles, interactive robots and innovative solutions to common problems marked the first day of the Gitex technology exhibition. It was the first time in two years that attendees could come to the event without any Covid-related restrictions. Roads in and around the Dubai World Trade Center were packed with people facing hours of delays as thousands of people attended the event.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Governor of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the United Arab Emirates, officially inaugurated Gitex Global 2022 today. On Sunday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted that the event “put Dubai on the global tech map and places technology at the top of Dubai’s agenda.”
With 5,000 companies from 90 countries exhibiting at the event spread over an area of 2 million squares, Gitex is one of the largest technology exhibitions in the world.
XPeng Voyager X2 electric flying car. Photo by Rahul Gajjar
Flying cars and autonomous vehicles
Flying cars and autonomous vehicles took center stage at the 42nd Gitex Global. While the company XPENG displayed its revolutionary flying car at the Dubai Marina as part of the event, others, like SkyDrive, exhibited models that could become reality in the near future.
A fully electric self-driving taxi was displayed by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) at its stand. It is expected to begin its test drive in the Jumeirah 1 region in December. The authority expects it to be ready for use by customers by next year.
Photo by Shihab
Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Government Pavilion has unveiled a self-driving minibus that will be introduced to Yas Island in time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. With nine stops, it is expected to carry at least 11 passengers both to and from the race in November.
Another self-driving car from TUC was on display at the e& stand. With provisions for connecting household appliances like a fridge, coffee machine and washing machine, it is a unique vehicle that can also be used as a living space.
Also, at the e& pavilion, there was a talking robot disguised as a construction worker who interacted with visitors. He looked around, moved his hands and responded to the participants’ comments.
The Dubai Municipality has revealed how it is planning low-level air corridors and vertiports for unmanned aerial vehicles, such as drones, in the city. This could mean that residents of the emirate could expect to receive their parcels via drones in the near future. A test phase for the Dubai Horizon project is already underway in Dubai’s Silicon Oasis area.
Robot Thermite in the Abu Dhabi pavilion. Photo by Shihab
Abu Dhabi Civil Defense has revealed an innovative way to deal with dangerous fires in its Thermite robot. With two water outlets that can pump 2,500 gallons of water per minute, the robot can work for 20 hours straight and can be remotely controlled from 300 meters away.
Ecoflow, the battery-powered generator recognized as one of TIME’s Top 100 Inventions last year, also made its debut at the expo. “It is particularly important in this region, especially in countries like Lebanon and Iraq, which are facing serious electricity problems,” said Ecoflow’s Mohammad Alshawish. “It is also extremely useful in disaster areas to power hospitals and other important facilities.”
The event will run until Friday, October 14 and will welcome more than 100,000 participants from 170 countries. This year’s event will also see 35 unicorns looking to explore new opportunities and grow in one of the fastest growing markets in the world.
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