Project Qatar Mobility is a project that aims to develop the physical and digital infrastructure required for integrating autonomous self-driving shuttles and buses into Doha's public transportation network.
During the project, a fleet of 35 autonomous electric ID Buzz vehicles from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as well as Scania electric buses will be added to the public transportation system. The ID Buzz vehicles will be able to shuttle up to 4 passengers in the Westbay area on semi-fixed routes, while the large Scania buses will be able to handle larger groups.
Volkswagen's subsidiaries MOIA and Audi AID will also play an important role in this project by providing the software. MOIA will be providing its ride-sharing app to run the service while Audi AID will be providing the Self Driving System (SDS) know-how.
Closed testing of the shuttles and buses is expected to begin in 2020 with trials starting as early as 2021. The project will go live in 2022.
By signing this deal, Qatar is positioning itself as one of the more important sites for the development and testing of autonomous buses of various sizes for the next few years. The knowledge and data gathered during this project could lay the groundwork for increased know-how regarding the operational prerequisites and digital infrastructure needed to enable autonomous driving.
Written by Mahdere DW Amanuel, RISE Viktoria.