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UAE's Habtoor to collaborate with Israel's Mobileye on ‘robo-taxi’

Mobileye technology provides data for traffic, navigation, map reading, and driving conditions .

Dubai-based conglomerate Al Habtoor Group has teamed up with Israeli high-tech firm Mobileye on putting “robo-taxis” on the roads of the emirate.

Khalaf Al Habtoor, founding chairman of the group, signed a deal with Mobileye that would provide the technology for self-driving and autonomous vehicles in the UAE.

Mobileye technology will be fitted into cars from the Habtoor dealership, which has the Dubai franchise for Mitsubishi, as well as several luxury brands. It provides data for traffic, navigation, map reading, and driving conditions to Habtoor’s fleet, which serves government and public sector transport in Dubai.

The technology could be purchased by individual motorists as an add-on package.

In the first phase of the partnership, there would be 1,000 petrol-engine cars from the Habtoor fleet fitted with Mobileye technology.

It would be followed by trials with a human “safety driver” in early 2022, before the launching of a fleet of “smart cars” later that year or early 2023.

Mobileye founder Amnon Shashua, who sold the company to Intel for $15 billion in 2017, shared that by early 2023, Dubai's streets would have a fleet of autonomous, self-driving robo-taxi vehicles.

Shashua noted that Dubai is ideal for launching technologies for smart cities and deploying autonomous cars, being one of the most advanced cities in the world.

He would also look to expand to other emirates and countries in the region.

Habtoor has been among the most enthusiastic in creating closer business links with Israel and plans to open a representative office in Tel Aviv.

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