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AUS team makes the finals of self-driving transport challenge
A team of engineering students and faculty from American University of Sharjah (AUS) has been named as a finalist in the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport in the academic institutions category of the competition.
The team was selected for their submission of an autonomous ground vehicle that can be used to transport goods from vendors to customers. The vehicle has been designed to also serve other purposes, such as general transportation tasks. It uses a combination of GPS receivers, inertial measurement units and vision sensors, along with other sensors and data logs that are incorporated into the vehicle.
The Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport is a catalyst to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make 25 percent of all trips in Dubai to be smart and driverless by 2030.
Hosted by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the challenge is a multi-year international competition designed for industry leaders, start-ups and academia tackling the transport challenges faced by global cities.
The AUS team is comprised of master’s students Nidal Sherif and Ammar Kiftaro, who are part
of the mechatronics engineering graduate program at AUS; Eng. Wasim Almasri of the Department of Mechanical Engineering; Dr. Mohammad Jaradat, Coordinator of the Mechatronics Engineering Graduate Program; and Dr. Mamoun Abdel-Hafez, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Submissions to the competition were judged on criteria including credibility, vision, innovation, skills, relevant experience, commercial operability and relevance to the needs of the UAE.
Dr. Mamoun Abdel-Hafez said of the potential of driverless technology: “Autonomous ground vehicles can improve the effectiveness and safety of transportation in the UAE and beyond. This can be accomplished by reducing human errors and improving highway flow. Additionally, autonomous transport can expedite the delivery of goods and services. The utilization of the GPS service into an autonomous ground vehicle could allow for the autonomous usage of less-congested routes, reducing traffic problems.”
All finalists will enter a testing phase in 2021 to determine the overall winner.