Qatar’s first self-driving delivery vehicle begins trial

Doha: Airlift Systems has introduced Qatar’s first 5G powered smart delivery transport in Education City - the MENA’s first pilot of a self-driving delivery vehicle. 

During the trial, Education City residents, students and staff can place orders on Talabat and pay online through the usual process to get their deliveries. To ensure the food is delivered securely, customers are provided QR codes, which they will use to unlock the vehicle’s compartment and retrieve the package.

This pilot is a three-month trial of the vehicle’s capacity to show performance comparable to, or indistinct from that of a human. The trial will also obtain consumer feedback, using it to develop strategies that ensures customer satisfaction in a long-term deployment. 

The vehicle is equipped with a real-time low latency feedback system powered by Vodafone’s 5G network and monitored remotely in a control room at Education City. This allows the operator to have access to control the vehicle in emergency cases and to stop the vehicle when needed.

Diego Camberos, Chief Operating Officer of Vodafone Qatar, said, “Vodafone Qatar understands the critical role of innovation in building a diversified and competitive economy, which is why we are committed to supporting innovative Qatari start-ups such as Airlift. The Airlift project is a perfect example of how 5G is enabling the digital transformation of mobility and other areas that are already shaping an exciting future for us all.”

Ahmed Mohamedali, CEO of Airlift Systems, said, “We’re eager to work with enterprises to experiment with our self-driving technology which is cost effective and agile to capture its value and augment their staff productivity. And we’re very glad to have formed this unique partnership with Talabat Qatar and thankful for the support from Vodafone and QF RDI office to enable this pilot. We’re also very grateful for the continued support from Qatar Science& Technology Park that was provided to Airlift since inception.” 

With delivery trips starting from Multaqa (Education City Student Center), the vehicle will service three locations - SouthNest (Male Student Housing), NorthNest (Female Student Housing), and The Campus - Education City Guest Residence. It will drive at a maximum speed of 6 km/hr, equivalent to human walking pace, and will be strictly limited to sidewalks, using roadways only for crossings.

As seen on Peninsula Qatar  Image Credits Peninsula Qatar