Category : Technology
We heard the buzz two years ago, but only now this idea begins to take real shape, all thanks to an agreement signed by the German group with the authorities of the Qatari capital.
Under the signed contract, Volkswagen and its Scania brand will provide residents of Doha with transport services for residents, with using autonomous cars. The initiative is called Project Qatar Mobility and assumes that at the initial stage, i.e. in 2022, 35 stationwagon IDs will go out on the streets. Buzz, which can seat up to 4 passengers and 10 buses from Scania, which will have space for up to 10 people. Until then, QIA and Volkswagen will work together on physical and digital infrastructure to ensure that the integration of new cars into the existing public transport fleet runs smoothly.
The use of autonomous cars as part of the public transport is certainly the future, but the truth is that at the moment few cities can afford them. Especially that the purchase of vehicles is just the beginning, because it is also necessary to create appropriate legal regulations, infrastructure of a smart city or knowledge, thanks to which all these plans will actually have a chance to come into force. In short, it costs a fortune and in this context it should not be surprising that Qatar is the first to decide.
Private tests for cars and buses will start as early as next year, and then test drives should be expected in 2021, so that the project can be 100% effective before the end of 2022. There is no denying that this is a kind of test of whether we are actually technologically (but not only) ready to implement this form of public transport. According to Volkswagen’s Chairman Herbert Diess: “Project Qatar Mobility will play a very important role in our Together 2025+ strategy. Responding to economic growth, social development and environmental management challenges, is part of our vision and shows our commitment to next-generation transport. We will learn from real world experiences, which is why this project will be a milestone for the coming generations.”
The city authorities also seem satisfied with the layout, because, as QIA head Mansoor Al Mahmoud claims, “A new wave of innovation is needed for the development of our cities. Zero emission cars controlled by artificial intelligence will help increase the level of public transport, while reducing congestion and improving energy efficiency. We are proud that QIA is working with Volkswagen to ensure that Qatar excels in new technologies. The development of intelligent transport will help change the future of cities, both in our country and around the world.”