Masdar City announces MENA’s first operational autonomous mobility service

Abu Dhabi’s sustainable urban development, Masdar City, has unveiled its first NAVYA autonomous vehicle, which it says will provide the first operational use of autonomous mobility technology in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The formal unveiling of the self-driving electric vehicle, with capacity for up to 12 passengers, came after customisation work to mitigate the effects of the Gulf’s extreme heat and humidity on the shuttle’s battery performance.

“Masdar City is built on the three pillars of economic, societal and environmental sustainability and the introduction of our first NAVYA vehicle perfectly illustrates this philosophy in action,” said Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director for Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar.

“Masdar City’s iconic Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system, which has carried more than 2 million passengers in eight years of operations, established a benchmark for driverless and sustainable mobility in the UAE,” added Baselaib.

“The introduction of our first NAVYA shuttle represents the next exciting phase of the city’s mobility journey.”

Mohammed Darwish Al Qamzi, General Manager of Integrated Transport Center, Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi (DoT), said: “The arrival of autonomous mobility at Masdar has been the result of a highly successful collaboration between the DoT, Masdar and NAVYA, which has further raised the profile of Abu Dhabi as leader in environmental best practice and sustainable urban development.”