Talabots: autonomous delivery robots

The Roads and Transport Authority, in partnership with the Dubai Integrated Economic Zone Authority (DIEZ) and talabat UAE, has announced the launch of a pilot project of autonomous food delivery robots, also known as ‘talabots’, in Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), which will revolutionise sustainable last-mile food delivery in the UAE.

This is part of a collaborative effort by organisations to harness cutting-edge technology and promote zero-emission delivery methods while improving efficiency, in line with Dubai’s efforts to convert 25% of all transport journeys in Dubai to driverless intelligent transport by 2030.

During the pilot phase, three ‘talabots’ will be commissioned to serve the residents of Cedre Villas, a gated community in the heart of DSO, an integrated free zone technology park that is a member of DIEZ. Designed for high efficiency and harmonious urban living, the ‘talabots’ will travel within a 3km radius of the launch point in the Cedre shopping centre to provide a fast 15-minute delivery.

The launch of autonomous delivery robots is part of an ambition to support riders in the next generation of green delivery, where robots will deliver over short distances to improve efficiency, optimise the fleet and reduce carbon emissions.

The milestone is a direct result of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, which the RTA organises every year, and the DSO ran tests for candidates, particularly the second round, which was on the theme: ‘Self-Driving Logistics Services’, which includes ground transport and drones. This is also part of the RTA’s ambition to increase the adoption of self-driving transport at all levels by enabling and empowering leading companies in this sector, as self-driving transport plays a fundamental role in the RTA strategy. In recent years, RTA has launched several innovative projects aimed at making self-driving transport a reality in Dubai.

In line with UAE regulations that make protecting public privacy a top priority, the artificial intelligence technology installed in the talabots protects people’s identities by blurring faces without facial recognition. Moreover, to blend in quietly with society and make customers’ lives easier, the talabots are equipped with various embedded sensors and advanced algorithms that can intelligently assess their surroundings and detect obstacles in their path, keeping a safe distance from babies and pets.

Using the latest advances in advanced artificial intelligence for point-to-point food delivery, the talabots will deliver orders from nearby partner restaurants to the Cedre Villas residential neighbourhood, welcoming customers at their doorstep. Thanks to the fully integrated interface of the talabat app, customers will be able to track the robot’s path and be notified via the app when it arrives at their home. Upon arrival, the customer will be able to unlock the secure compartment by following the instructions on the talabat app.

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