ART Abu Dhabi
ART, seen here in a still from an official video during its testing phase, will run on the roads without rails Image Credit: Screengrab from Twitter/@ITCAbuDhabi

Abu Dhabi: Autonomous (driverless) Rapid Transits (ART) will be launched on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi as part of expansions of the Smart Mobility project on Yas and Saadiyat Islands, it was announced on Friday.

As many as three ART, which are an “improved rapid transport system” operating without mass transport train system or rails, will be part of the roll out, said the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) in Abu Dhabi.

In its first phase, ART will provide services to Yas Island’s main tourist attractions and commercial hubs.

ITC also announced the launch of the second phase of operations of the Smart Mobility project on Yas and Saadiyat Islands.

Officially launched during the 2022 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Smart Mobility project is carried out in collaboration between the DMT, the ITC and Bayanat, an ADX listed public company with majority shareholding by G42 that specialises in AI-powered geospatial intelligence.

The smart mobility system on Yas Island and Saadiyat Island currently includes a fleet of 17 vehicles, including eight ‘TXAI’ autonomous vehicles, the first fully automated self-driving taxis in the UAE, which were launched last November.

New stations

The self-driving taxi route on Saadiyat Island includes a number of new stations, namely Mamsha Saadiyat, Al Manarat, NYU Abu Dhabi, The St. Regis Hotel, Saadiyat Beach, Theodore Monod French International High School (Lycée Français International Théodore Monod), Jumeirah, Saadiyat Beach Residences and Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi. The route is 47.5km long, and the service runs from 8am to 8pm throughout the week.

Customers can download and install the TXAI app to book and track their rides.

The project includes six Mini Robobuses, in addition to 15 charging stations that were added to the Yas and Saadiyat Islands network.

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Hasan Al Hosani, CEO of Bayanat, said: “When we think of the future, we think of how Bayanat can empower and enhance the public transport system with intelligent, innovative solutions. Autonomous vehicle technology will transform mobility in Abu Dhabi into something more efficient and attractive to the public.”

He added: “Through our strategic partnership with [ITC], we are making intelligent, eco-friendly and safe transit accessible for all to serve the community better. This is just the beginning of what is to come as we continue to work to realise the potential of advanced technology in our everyday lives.”