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Dubai Pilots Food Delivery Robots

The pilot is part of the nation’s mission to drive down emissions and promote sustainable technologies

Scarlett Evans

February 21, 2023

2 Min Read

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced the pilot launch of autonomous delivery robots, in a project testing their efficacy as a food delivery service.

The delivery robots, dubbed “talabots,” are to be initially rolled out in Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) in partnership with Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) and the online food delivery company, Talabat UAE.

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According to the RTA, the project comes under the partners’ mission to “encourage the use of zero-emission modes of delivery while enhancing efficiency,” in line with Dubai’s wider mission to make 25% of trips autonomous by 2030. 

The pilot phase will see the introduction of three talabots to serve Cedre Villas residents, a gated community within DSO. The talabots will initially travel within a 1-mile radius of the Cedre shopping Centre launch point to ensure a speedy 15-minute delivery time.

With community privacy a legal requirement per UAE regulations, the talabots use AI to blur people’s faces in the robot’s line of sight. The robots are also fitted with a range of sensors to allow autonomous navigation throughout a space, avoiding obstacles including people and pets.

“Smart mobility is one of the six pillars of DSO’s Smart City Strategy, which is at the core of piloting carbon-neutral delivery robots in a closely monitored and controlled environment within the hi-tech park,” said Juma Al Matrooshi, DSO’s director general. “We look forward to the success of this trial, and its expansion as part of DSO’s role as an innovation and knowledge hub under the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.”

Following the results of the pilot, the RTA has plans to expand its partnerships with the private sector and collaborations with local partners.

“The pilot…contributes to realizing the vision of positioning Dubai as the smartest city by imagining the future, designing it, and executing it, as well as testing environment-friendly technologies to reduce carbon emissions in line with 2023 being the Year of Sustainability,” said Muammar Al Katheeri, DIEZ’s chief officer engineering. “Through this partnership, we aim to provide innovative, safe, and feasible solutions for delivery and logistical services through autonomous transport, the demand for which is increasing in Dubai.”

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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