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The United Arab Emirates has recently announced that it plans to transform the autonomous vehicle landscape, promising that 25% of all journeys will be completed autonomously by 2030.

As part of its ongoing effort to accelerate the introduction of self-driving transport, Dubai is testing autonomous passenger boats as a viable option.

The autonomous boats in question mimic “abras,” traditional boats made of wood that are among the oldest and most popular modes of transport in Dubai.

The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has revealed that tests have been carried out on a hi-tech, electric-powered abra with automated capabilities between Jaddaf Station and Dubai Festival City Station on Dubai Creek, according to reports by

“The launch of autonomous vehicles will bring a positive impact on Dubai’s transportation landscape and wellbeing. It will facilitate the integration between transportation and communication systems by streamlining the mobility of mass transit users and their arrival to their final destinations,” said Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA.

In addition to the abras being tested in Dubai, other forms of autonomous transportation are also being examined, such as the world’s first ‘Autonomous Pods’. Furthermore, self-driving taxis have ramped up testing in anticipation of a commercial launch later this year.