The first self-driving Qatari vehicle was the idea of 5 Qatari and Arab youth 3 years ago, who turned their dream into reality and achieved what they sought, and the vehicle became a reality and a reality on the ground.
The five young men founded the company “Airlift”, which relied on self-financing in its major share, to recently succeed in launching the first self-driving vehicle, specialized in delivering orders in the State of Qatar and the Middle East region, after a test period that lasted more than two months in the streets of the Netherlands, as well as in the oasis. Qatar Science and Technology in Doha, which hosts the company.
And by using the customer’s quick response code, the vehicle doors open automatically, without touching, and the autonomous vehicle came, in conjunction with the spread of the Corona pandemic, and specialized in delivering orders to the specified destination.
The vehicle is characterized by its ability to carry and transport products weighing up to 120 kilograms, and it can also be used in transporting meals, “supermarket” products, medicines and so on, which makes it capable of carrying out many roles.
The design and development process of the vehicle lasted two years until the launch of the first version of the “AirLift” vehicle, according to Ahmed Muhammad Ali, entrepreneur and executive director of the Qatari “AirLift” company, speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, and it is currently being tested in the Dutch city of Breda as part of the first test of a self-driving vehicle on the roads. Public in the Netherlands.
Ahmed Ali believes that the vehicle was designed to be a multi-purpose vehicle, but the primary function of the current version is to deliver goods, while it will have many other functions, and work is being done on it at the present time, in the fields of examination and data collection.
Production of 100 vehicles by 2022
On the goal of the production plan, the CEO of Airlift revealed that the current goal is to attract sufficient investment to produce 100 vehicles by 2022, and to launch them on the streets of Qatar and Europe.
The Qatari entrepreneur appreciated the role played by the Qatar Foundation Science and Technology Park in incubating AirLift since its inception, and this includes providing office space, a development laboratory, and other services for the company.
He pointed out that the Corona pandemic led to an increase in global demand for transportation technologies that reduce users’ exposure to disease vectors, as the “AirLift” vehicle provides a safe delivery process that includes automatic opening of locker doors and self-sterilization of goods transported through the vehicle.
Ali revealed that the vehicle is powered by an electric motor powered by rechargeable batteries, which enables the vehicle to travel 70 kilometers per hour, indicating that the vehicle is intended to run on sidewalks and bicycle paths, and that is why its size was determined to comply with the rules and measurements of these Roads.
Adding that the vehicle’s height does not exceed 175 centimeters to allow pedestrians to easily see the environment behind the vehicle and its surroundings, and its width is 90 centimeters, which is the average size of bicycle paths in most roads.
He explained that the vehicle is equipped with a set of sensors that synchronize to ensure a safe ride that complies with European conditions and standards for this type of vehicle. The most important of these sensors, a three-dimensional laser sensor, has been developed by Airlift engineers and is currently under patent.
The CEO stated that AirLift specializes in technology and software and hardware development to employ in autonomous driving technologies, and has a headquarters in the Qatari capital, Doha, in addition to another headquarters in the Dutch city of Rotterdam as part of its expansion plan in the European market.