Autonomous Dhahaina on the move: Saudi Arabia successfully tests its first self-driving shuttle


Dhahaina is the country’s first self-driving vehicle and a pioneer in modern transport technology. With the goal of converting 15% of public transport to autonomy within seven years, it will make transport more efficient and environmentally friendly, helping to improve people’s quality of life.

First autonomous electric vehicle successfully tested: Saudi Arabia enters new era of mobility

The autonomous shuttle “Dhahaina” was presented at a ceremony at the Business Front in Riyadh. The self-driving vehicle is expected to play an important role in the city’s public transport system in the future, providing greater efficiency and flexibility. With the use of modern technologies and an innovative design, the shuttle is also expected to contribute to the development of urban mobility.

With its Vision 2030 plan, Saudi Arabia has developed a strategy to reduce its dependence on oil and diversify its economy. A central component of this strategy is the increased use of automated transport methods.

To improve the performance of its transport fleet and make urban transport more effective, the company has decided to convert 15% of its public transport and 25% of its freight transport vehicles to autonomous driving by 2028, taking into account advances in autonomous vehicle technology.

The featured vehicle is a self-driving autonomous shuttle developed in collaboration between Navya and the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Transport. The Autonom uses a range of sensors, including lidar, radar and cameras, to achieve a fully automated driving capability at Level 4.

First introduced in 2015, the Autonom has revolutionised the way people travel short distances. With its capacity for up to 15 passengers and an operating time of up to nine hours at a stretch, it is a highly practical solution for the first and last mile. It can operate at a top speed of just under 26 km/h, making it an environmentally friendly and reliable alternative to conventional means of transport.

The event in Riyadh was organised by the Saudi Arabian Ministry to raise awareness of the country’s plans for automated vehicles. The ministry has announced plans to launch a comprehensive programme to develop laws, regulations and supporting systems in the coming years to promote the adoption of AVs in the country. The event aimed to raise awareness among the public and decision makers on the importance of AVs for the future of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is focusing on automated transport to achieve its Vision 2030 goals. The ministry hopes that the integration of autonomous vehicles will reduce traffic-related accidents and fatalities, improve inner-city mobility and reduce the environmental impact of traffic. With this measure, the state is taking an important step towards a sustainable and future-proof transport policy.

The Riyadh Business Front is owned by the ROSHN Group, a national real estate company supported by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. The group is committed to creating new communities where the country’s citizens can live and work. The development of these new areas is in line with the needs of the population and contributes to their well-being.

The government has recognised that promoting sustainability in communities is crucial. It will introduce pedestrian-friendly streets and environmentally friendly means of transport to achieve this goal. In cooperation with the Ministry of Transport, a test programme for autonomous vehicles will be carried out to make further progress in sustainability.

The Dhahaina initiative is a major step in the technological development of the transport sector in the Kingdom. As Chief Development Officer of ROSHN Group, I am happy to see that our efforts to use cutting-edge technologies to improve the comfort and convenience of our customers in the high-end real estate environments of our communities across the country are supported by this study.

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