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How Dubai is using artificial intelligence to plan for driverless cars

In a report as part of Decoded, CNN’s Anna Stewart explores how artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to map out the streets of Dubai ready for autonomous vehicles.

Dubai made a commitment that in 2023 it will launch a fleet of driverless taxis. To make sure this service runs smoothly, a 3D digital map of the region is required to provide the AI on board the data to navigate.

Maitha Alnuaimi, Director of GIS Center, Dubai Municipality discusses the task they are facing, “It is really important to build the right model to capture the assets of the streets in order to make sure that they’re safely driving on the streets of Dubai, especially as Dubai is changing a lot.”

The maps will need constantly updating, and Alnuaimi says this process will be expediated through the use of AI, “Imagine going through each and every street behind a desk collecting that information. AI is doing it automatically.”

The Dubai Municipality tells CNN that soon it will be driverless cars themselves that are able to do this mapping, without anyone present at all, creating a fleet of autonomous data gatherers updating the very system that they themselves run on.

Research has shown that driverless cars will help to ease traffic by braking less and choosing paths of less congestion. Alnuaimi describes how she will feel when the project launches, “I’d be so proud that we started that in Dubai, especially with the complex street networks.”

Credit : CNN